Saturday 2 July 2022 12:15 PM City law firm Herbert Smith Freehills hands junior solicitors 24% pay rise to ... trends now
A top UK law firm has increased its base salary for newly qualified lawyers by 24 per cent since December last year and will now pay its graduates £120,000 per year as soon as they are qualified.
The Anglo-Australian law firm, Herbert Smith Freehills, is one of the City of London's top ten highest-earning firms - and this is reflected in the significant pay rise for its newest recruits.
In December 2021 the firm took the decision to raise junior lawyers' salaries by around ten per cent to £105,000.
But the new £15,000 pay rise, reported by The Times, eclipses the past rise - despite the Bank of England and financial experts calling on all companies to show restraint over pay rises due to the fear it could push inflation even higher.
'It is key that we continue to attract the very best talent,' said Alison Brown, the firm's executive partner, who added that the practice wanted 'to recognise high-performing lawyers at all levels'.
Herbert Smith Freehills is in the top ten highest-earning law firms in the City of London (pictured)
The Bank of England has increased its interest rate from 0.1 per cent to 1.25 percent since December 2021
In May governor of the Bank of England Andrew Bailey asked employers to show restraint over pay increases after inflation rose to a UK 40-year-high at just over nine per cent.
Inflation is expected to rise further to at least 11 per cent before it reaches its peak as working people struggle with the spiraling cost of living.
The Bank's interest rate has increased from 0.1 per cent to 1.25 percent since December 2021.
The median average UK wage is currently £25,971, according to the latest available figures.
Herbert Smith Freehills is far from bucking the trend in its generous salary hikes in the City, but one of the UK's top firms has introduced a pay freeze despite a price war in the so-called Magic Circle began in the UK, driven by increasing US salaries.
The Magic Circle is a term used to describe the top five London legal firms, all of whom specialise in corporate, rather than criminal law.
By comparison, criminal barristers starting out in the profession can be paid as little as £12,000 per year - although they can claim some expenses in addition to this sum.