SRA freezes minimum trainee salaries

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is imposing a freeze on the minimum wages for trainee solicitors in response to the “current economic climate”.

The minimum salary for a trainee working in London will remain static at £18,590 until at least September 2011. The recommended salary for trainees in the capital is also remaining the same at £19,040.

The news comes despite a growing number of City law firms announcing a series of small pay increases and an unfreezing of trainee and associate salaries. 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 announced that the minimum wage for trainees outside of London will continue to be £16,650 and has recommended that those living outside will remain on £16,940.

A spokesman for the SRA said: “The Solicitors Regulation Authority has decided the 2009 minimum salary levels for trainees remain unchanged for 2010-11 for London and for the rest of England and Wales in view of the current economic climate.”

The SRA began a consultation in October 2006 to determine whether the market favoured the abolition 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.