‘Strong pipeline’: pay bump for A&O trainees and associates amid 80% retention rate

‘Strong pipeline’: pay bump for A&O trainees and associates amid 80% retention rate

Allen & Overy has become the latest Magic Circle firm to announce pay increases for its trainees and newly qualified associates (NQs), alongside a slightly reduced September 2018 retention rate.

The salary for NQs has risen to £83,000 from £81,000, while second year trainees can now expect to take home £50,000, up from £49,000. First year trainees will earn £45,000, compared with the previous £44,000 salary.

A&O has held onto 37 of its 46-strong intake this year – or 80% – having offered jobs to 40 trainees. The percentage is slightly down from last year when the firm kept 85% of its intake of 47 trainees.

On the trainee retention figure, A&O graduate recruitment partner and training principal Claire Wright said: ‘This is a good result and one which demonstrates the consistently high quality of the trainees here at A&O. We are fortunate to have such a strong pipeline of talented young lawyers and I look forward to seeing their careers develop and progress.’

Last week, Clifford Chance (CC) said it would increase compensation for NQs to £91,000, up more than 4% from £87,300 last year. It also raised trainee pay by 4%, with first-year salaries up from £44,800 to £46,600 and second-year remuneration increased from £50,500 to reach £52,500.

Meanwhile, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has kept its NQ salary at £85,000 but increased its trainee compensation. First year trainees will take home £45,000, up 5% on last year’s salary of £43,000, while second year trainees will earn £51,000, a 6% increase on last year’s £48,000.

Slaughter and May will pay first year trainees £44,000 and second years £49,000.

The salary increases come on the back of a moderate year of growth for the Magic Circle in 2017/18, notwithstanding their financials failed to make as much of a splash as the previous year’s performance.