Tuesday, July 5, 2022
BusinessScots lawyers offered £61k starting pay to stem brain drain to London

Scots lawyers offered £61k starting pay to stem brain drain to London

A LEADING firm has boosted its starting salary for newly qualified Scots lawyers in a bid to stop legal talent leaving for London.

International operators Pinsent Masons are hoping to stem the tide by introducing a 35.5% increase in beginners’ wages, now reaching £61,000.

The move is hoped to attract the finest young lawyers in Scotland, enticed by seeing the salary rise by £16,000 on the company’s previous offering. 

Katharine Hardie is Pinset Masons’ Chair in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

16 newly qualified lawyers were offered positions by the firm last year, with just one opting for a London-based role. 

The rest are split across Pinsent Masons’ three offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

Katharine Hardie, Partner and Chair of Pinsent Masons in Scotland and Northern Ireland, said: “As a purpose-led professional services firm, we are committed to attracting, retaining and nurturing the best young lawyers in the profession and are willing to offer top of the market salaries to achieve this.” 

“Our Scottish teams play central roles in numerous national and international instructions  which are part and parcel of working for a global firm with an extensive geographic footprint.”

As reported by The Times last week, Scotland is facing an exodus of legal talent due to the “eye-watering” offers being made by London’s law titans. 

Salaries in the UK can sit at up to £150,000 for newly qualified solicitors, leaving Scottish firms struggling to fill positions. 

The new salary levels will take effect from September, with rates for the same position in London set to rise from £75,000 to £92,000. 

This 22.6% increase underlines just how much financial weight is put behind legal practices in Scotland and the UK.

According to the Scottish Parliament, the current national average salary sits at around £25,000 in the country.

Graduate lawyers can also expect to earn more than many of their university peers straight after finishing their studies.

Across the UK, The Higher Education Statistics Agency found that the national average starting salary for all graduates is £24,000.

With graduate solicitor salaries soaring in London, those recruiting north of the border, such as Pinsent Masons, have been forced into action.

A recent round of promotions has also shaken up the firm, with six Scottish-based lawyers moving up to Partner status. 

Three senior associates have become Legal Directors, while Edinburgh solicitor advocate Jim Cormack, QC, will head up the Litigation, Regulatory and Tax team.

Pinsent Masons have picked up awards over the past year, including being named the Law Firm of the Year at the UK Legal Business Awards. 

Hardie added: “We believe the opportunity to be based in Scotland and to work on high-profile mandates on behalf of many of the country’s leading corporates, combined with competitive salaries, agile working and our long-held commitment to gender equality and diversity and inclusion, is a compelling offer which will appeal to ambitious young lawyers starting out in their legal careers.

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