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£100k for newly qualified lawyers (but not in shipping!)

Newly-qualified lawyers in some of London’s major law firms are now paid £100,000. We’ve spoken recently about how it’s a candidate’s market, and we’ve always seen the legal private practice market as candidate-driven, with demand often outweighing supply, especially at the 2-5 years’ post-qualification level. 

Market competition for the brightest newly qualified lawyers is strong, and pay wars are driving salaries up to dizzying heights. Law firm Linklaters confirmed this week that their NQ pay is £107,500.

However these astronomical salaries – while great for occupying headlines – are limited to the ‘magic circle’ law firms, the 5 most prestigious firms in the City of London, who are known for paying high and working their lawyers incredibly hard. Outside of the ‘circle’, it’s a different story in shipping.

In the shipping firms, the salary benchmarks are looking slightly more modest. According to rollonfriday, Hill Dickinson is currently paying just under £60k for newly qualified lawyers, with Ince, Clyde & Co and HFW next in the £60-£66k category.  WFW are paying £73k with Reed Smith (now an American firm) out in front at £75k, which despite all being considerably less than the splashy salaries quoted in the news at other firms, are still healthy salaries for those in their first year post-qualification.

Tom Brooks, Senior Consultant of Spinnaker’s Legal and Insurance team, says “The demand for shipping lawyers remains steady.  We’re currently searching for lawyers for shipowner in-house roles as well as FD&D roles, which adds supply pressure to the private practice market. The sentiment for our sector is unchanged, with most clients still staying optimistic. The outlook for the next couple of quarters is certainly positive.”

For our current legal vacancies, click here.

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