[UK] City law firms match investment banks with highest graduate salaries

[UK] City law firms match investment banks with highest graduate salaries
25 Feb 2022

Law firms in the City of London have become the UK’s highest paying graduate employers, matching investment banks by offering graduates average salaries of £50,000 a year, City A.M. reports.

The graduate salaries on offer from Britain’s major law firms are now on par with salaries paid out to graduates working in investment banking and significantly ahead of those offered to graduates in other high paying sectors such as tech and consulting, according to new figures from High Fliers.

Law firms reportedly paid their graduates average salaries of £50,000 a year, according to High Fliers’ research, putting them on par with investment banks (£50,000) and ahead of consultancies (£47,500), oil firms (£40,000) and banking and finance companies (£38,000).

High Fliers revealed that New York law firm White & Case offers the most generous salaries of any UK graduate employer; it pays its graduates £52,000 a year.

The UK’s prestigious ‘Magic Circle’ law firms, including Clifford Chance, Allen & Overy, Freshfields, Slaughter & May, and Linklaters, followed closely behind in offering grads £50,000 a year.

Meanwhile, America’s major law firms - including Los Angeles law firm Latham & Watkins, Chicago litigator Baker McKenzi, and Silver Circle firm Herbert Smith Freehills - also matched the Magic Circle in offering £50,000 to graduates.

News of the legal sector’s top-ranking position comes as law firms continue to face fierce competition to recruit and retain legal talent.

Graduate boom

According to High Fliers’ research, average graduate salaries are set to rise for the first time in eight years in 2022, to £32,000 a year, from £30,000 a year in 2021. Graduate salaries have remained stagnant since 2015.

High Fliers said that if grad salaries had kept pace with inflation over the past decade, average graduate salaries would have risen from rates of £29,000 a year in 2012 to £38,200 today.

High salaries paid out by employers such as Aldi (£44,000) pushed the average salaries paid out to graduates in the retail sector up to £36,800, putting the industry ahead of the armed forces (£33,000), tech (£32,000), accounting (£32,000) and the consumer goods sector (£32,000), as one of the UK’s top-paying graduate employers.

Graduates working in the public sector received, on average, the lowest salaries of £23,100, behind those working in the engineering (£28,500) and media (£31,500) sectors.

High Fliers’ research also shows that the number of graduate job offers jumped 9.4 per cent from 2020 to 2021, amid a bounce-back in the graduate job market following a substantial cut in the number of vacancies in 2020.

High Fliers said the number of graduate jobs is set to increase by a further 15.7 per cent this year, forecasting that the accountancy sector will be the largest recruiter of graduates.

Martin Birchall - managing director of High Fliers - said, “It is very encouraging that the graduate job market has recovered so quickly from the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, with more entry-level vacancies available for this year’s new graduates than there were in 2019 and higher graduate starting salaries too.”


Source: City A.M.

(Quote via original reporting)

Law firms in the City of London have become the UK’s highest paying graduate employers, matching investment banks by offering graduates average salaries of £50,000 a year, City A.M. reports.

The graduate salaries on offer from Britain’s major law firms are now on par with salaries paid out to graduates working in investment banking and significantly ahead of those offered to graduates in other high paying sectors such as tech and consulting, according to new figures from High Fliers.

Law firms reportedly paid their graduates average salaries of £50,000 a year, according to High Fliers’ research, putting them on par with investment banks (£50,000) and ahead of consultancies (£47,500), oil firms (£40,000) and banking and finance companies (£38,000).

High Fliers revealed that New York law firm White & Case offers the most generous salaries of any UK graduate employer; it pays its graduates £52,000 a year.

The UK’s prestigious ‘Magic Circle’ law firms, including Clifford Chance, Allen & Overy, Freshfields, Slaughter & May, and Linklaters, followed closely behind in offering grads £50,000 a year.

Meanwhile, America’s major law firms - including Los Angeles law firm Latham & Watkins, Chicago litigator Baker McKenzi, and Silver Circle firm Herbert Smith Freehills - also matched the Magic Circle in offering £50,000 to graduates.

News of the legal sector’s top-ranking position comes as law firms continue to face fierce competition to recruit and retain legal talent.

Graduate boom

According to High Fliers’ research, average graduate salaries are set to rise for the first time in eight years in 2022, to £32,000 a year, from £30,000 a year in 2021. Graduate salaries have remained stagnant since 2015.

High Fliers said that if grad salaries had kept pace with inflation over the past decade, average graduate salaries would have risen from rates of £29,000 a year in 2012 to £38,200 today.

High salaries paid out by employers such as Aldi (£44,000) pushed the average salaries paid out to graduates in the retail sector up to £36,800, putting the industry ahead of the armed forces (£33,000), tech (£32,000), accounting (£32,000) and the consumer goods sector (£32,000), as one of the UK’s top-paying graduate employers.

Graduates working in the public sector received, on average, the lowest salaries of £23,100, behind those working in the engineering (£28,500) and media (£31,500) sectors.

High Fliers’ research also shows that the number of graduate job offers jumped 9.4 per cent from 2020 to 2021, amid a bounce-back in the graduate job market following a substantial cut in the number of vacancies in 2020.

High Fliers said the number of graduate jobs is set to increase by a further 15.7 per cent this year, forecasting that the accountancy sector will be the largest recruiter of graduates.

Martin Birchall - managing director of High Fliers - said, “It is very encouraging that the graduate job market has recovered so quickly from the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, with more entry-level vacancies available for this year’s new graduates than there were in 2019 and higher graduate starting salaries too.”


Source: City A.M.

(Quote via original reporting)

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