Herbert Smith Freehills ignores Brexit uncertainty to hand out salary rises

Herbert Smith Freehills has ignored the uncertainty of Brexit to hand pay rises to its trainees and associates.

“Our approach to reward this year has not changed as a result of the referendum,” the firm said in a statement. “The vote will have no immediate impact on the firm’s operations other than any arising from general effects on the UK economy.”

First year trainees get a 4.8 per cent boost, from £42,000 to £44,000, while second years go from £46,000 to £48,000, a 4.3 per cent rise.

Unlike in previous years, Herbies has not revealed its base salary for associates but said that when bonuses are taken into account, ‘total cash compensation’ for “high performing” newly-qualified solicitors rises from £82,000 to £90,000.

The top 1PQEs will receive £95,000, up from £87,000.

The best-performing 2PQEs are boosted from £97,000 to £107,000 and the start 3 year PQE will go from £112,000 to £122,000.

Base salaries last year were £69,000 for NQs, £74,000 for 1PQEs, £87,000 for 2PQEs and £96,500 for 3 PQEs. The firm upped its junior salaries at every level in 2015, concentrating its resources most heavily on post-2 year PQE. 2PQEs got a 10 per cent pay boost with 3PQEs getting an 8.4 per cent rise.

Regional managing partner Ian Cox said: “These compensation packages reflect both the strong performance of the London office over the past 12 months and investment in the firm’s future.”

Herbries salaries