Salary survey: boutique

By their very nature, boutique firms tend to specialise in few areas of law, so comparing one to another is of limited use. But a trend can be seen when such firms are taken as a whole and compared with the rest of the market.

Reflecting their smaller size, boutique firms typically pay lower salaries compared with the rest of the London market. However, they stack up well in comparison with national and regional firms.

As of April 2015, when this survey took place, the average salary for a newly-qualified solicitor at a boutique firm is in the low £40,000s. This rises to the mid-£50,000s for a solicitor with 1-3PQE, and around £60,000 to £70,000 for a lawyer with 4-6PQE. These numbers are roughly similar to salaries at national and regional firms.

However, associates with 7PQE and beyond at boutique firms start to pull ahead of their peers in the regions, although they still don’t catch up with those at large or even mid-sized London firms. The average salary for a 7+PQE at a boutique firm is in the mid-£80,000s, compared with the £60,000s at a regional firm and the £90,000s at a mid-sized London outfit.

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