Salary Survey 2015

  • Salary Calculator 2015
    Find out whether you're getting paid enough and see how you rank against your peers. (*This data was collected in April 2015)
  • Despite efforts by the legal profession to focus on diversity, the gender gap in pay remains pronounced with a £24,000 difference in average salaries, The Lawyer research has shown.
  • The Lawyer ’s first Salary Survey cover lawyers’ pay, base salaries, bonuses, benefits and pay satisfaction, as well as their wider career satisfaction and aspirations. We have unearthed eye-opening information about the effects on earnings of location, sector, experience and, of course, gender.
  • Precisely one-quarter of respondents to the survey work in-house – an area that is an increasingly popular and well-regarded career choice among lawyers.
  • Salaries for newly-qualified solicitors are more transparent than those further up the market, since firms tend to publish them as part of their efforts to woo the most talented graduates.
  • Across the UK, 72.4 per cent of lawyers received a pay rise in 2014-15. Salaries rose fastest in Scotland. North of the border, some 22.9 per cent of respondents got a pay rise of more than 10 per cent, compared with 15.9 per cent in London and 14.6 per cent nationally.
  • Overall, less than half – 46.2 per cent – of all respondents to the survey received a bonus last year. This overall figure was skewed by in-house respondents, however, who were far more likely to get one.
  • Despite dissatisfaction with pay among many, the vast majority of lawyers – 93.4 per cent – are happy in their current practice area, and relatively few want to leave the profession.
  • Holiday allowances are fairly standard across the legal profession – and the entire UK workforce, for that matter. Some employers are slightly more generous than others when it comes to paid leave but they stay within fairly basic parameters.
  • Across all private practice respondents to this survey, the average salary for a man was £87,820, while the average salary for a woman was £63,518. This figure is, of course, skewed by the fact that there are more men in senior positions across the legal profession.
  • In 2014, Lawyer 2B ran a stress survey. With more than 500 responses, it sparked a good deal of debate about mental wellbeing in the profession.
  • The magic circle’s salaries at the junior end of the spectrum are well publicised. In the last month, news has been gradually coming out about the latest round of increases. Newly qualifieds (NQ) pay now stands at £70,000 at both Clifford Chance and Slaughter and May while Linklaters ’ newly-qual...
  • London’s mid-market is diverse, with a wide range of firms specialising in different areas and succeeding or struggling depending on their strategy. The range of salaries potentially available reflects this, with firms such as Farrer & Co paying their NQs close to £60,000 and others, like Winckwo...
  • Many of the larger London firms match – or get close to – the magic circle when it comes to salaries for newly-qualified solicitors. At 1-3PQE level, the gap is still narrow. For example, Ashurst , one of the few large non-magic circle firms to release its 2015/16 pay increases so far, will give ...
  • Outside London, pay is lower but goes further. There is naturally a wide level of variation, however, depending on region and size of firm.
  • 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.
  • Associates at US firms in London are notoriously the best-paid in the UK market, with salaries in many cases far outstripping the magic circle. At the very top of the pay scale for newly-qualified solicitors, the likes of Davis Polk and Latham & Watkins match the $160,000 rate for New York first-...