SRA boosts minimum trainee pay

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has announced a modest increase in the minimum salary for trainee solicitors. The new minimum wage for trainee solicitors working in London will be set at £18,590 from August 2009.

Jonathan Spencer

Jonathan Spencer

This represents an increase of just 0.9 per cent from the current level of £18,420. The recommended salary for trainees in the capital however has been set at £19,040.

The news comes as a growing number of City firms continue to freeze trainee salaries in response to the global economic crisis. On average a trainee working at a top City firm will receive a salary of around £37,000 in their first year.  

The SRA has also put the minimum wage for trainees outside of London up by 0.9 per cent from £16,500 to £16,650. However the regulator recommends those living outside of the capital should be paid around £16,940.

Chair of the SRA’s education and training committee Dr Jonathan Spencer said: “In view of the current economic climate, we decided to set the level for next year’s trainees salaries at a 0.9 per cent increase based on the RPI at the end of the year.”

The SRA began a consultation in October 2006 to determine whether the market favored the abolitition of the minimum salary for trainees. But findings in May 2007 showed the majority of respondents, two thirds of whom were trainees, said they supported the minimum standards aimed at protecting trainees from exploitation in the legal market.