Solicitor Salary & Benefits – An Essential Guide

Solicitor Salary & Benefits – An Essential Guide

salary of solicitors & trainees in the uk

We all know law is a well paid career, but exactly how much will you be paid? Let’s look at how much a typical solicitor can expect to learn on average.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) had previously defined a minimum salary for solicitors.

This minimum was £18,590 with £19,040 being recommended in London and a minimum of £16,650 with £16,940 being recommended outside London.

However recently these minimum salary requirements have been removed. Within the next two years the salary will drop to the national minimum wage standard which is £6.08 at the time of writing.

This could drastically change average solicitor salaries in the next few years.

However it could be the case that trainee solicitors wages remain broadly the same. The larger commercial firms would never dream of paying their graduates minimum wage.

best paying jobs in the uk

Salaries of solicitors do vary a lot. They will depend on a number of factors such as:

  • The size of the firm.
  • The area of law the firm practices in.
  • The experience of the solicitor.
  • The exact role or job title.
  • The part of the UK the firm is located in.

Trainee solicitor salaries

Here are some of the latest (19/06/12) salary figures for trainee solicitors. We have tried to include a range of locations but the following firms would be considered “large”. For medium or small firms (or lower paying areas such as legal aid) the salary will be closer to the SRA minimum as stated above. For the larger firms it may be possible to spend one of your two years of training abroad doing an overseas seat.

Clifford Chance (London)

  • First-year trainee £38,000
  • Second-year trainee £43,000
  • Newly qualified lawyer £61,500

Linklaters (London)

  • Trainee £39,000
  • Newly qualified lawyer £61,500

Allen & Overy (London)

  • First-year trainee £38,000
  • Second-year trainee £42,200
  • Newly qualified lawyer £61,500

Irwin Mitchell (Shefield)

  • First-year trainee £22,450
  • Second-year trainee £24,650

Wragge & Co (Birmingham)

  • First-year trainee £26,250
  • Second-year trainee £29,250
  • Newly qualified lawyer £38,000

Pannone (Manchester)

  • First-year trainee £24,000
  • Second-year trainee £26,000

Burges Salmon (Liverpool)

  • First-year trainee £31,000
  • Second-year trainee £32,000
  • Newly qualified lawyer £41,000

Solicitor salaries

Data on average solicitor salaries is harder to come by; there is no reliable recent data available. Generally speaking salaries for qualifies solicitors can be anywhere between £20,000 and £75,000. In London salaries will be more towards the high rather than the lower end of this scale due to the increased cost of living. Salary should increase with each year of experience.

For partners in large firms salaries can exceed £100,000 due to them having a share of the firms income (this is called an equity partner). The income of partners in smaller firms will be based on the actual profitability of the firm and therefore depends on success.


Again this will vary from firm to firm. It won’t be uncommon for the largest firms to offer the following benefits:

  • Private healthcare (including dental)
  • Pension contributions
  • Life insurance
  • Other insurance (such as travel)
  • Leave for pro bono or volunteer work
  • Leave for obtaining qualifications
  • Interest free loans
  • Membership of gym or health facilities
  • Subsidised food
  • Paid holiday (usually 25 days)
  • Generous unpaid leave

There may also be welcome grants or relocation grants for new solicitors. Firms may also pay Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and Legal Practice Course (LPC) fees. This could even include a maintenance grant for each year of study.

Update : There as been a 2.4% year-on-year increase in solicitor salaries in London according to the results from the Robert Walters 2012 Salary Survey.

Fancy earning this much money? Find out how to become a solicitor!

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