The minimum salary for trainee solicitors will remain unchanged for the third successive year, at £18,590 per annum in central London and £16,650 elsewhere, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has confirmed.

The rates equate to less than £9 an hour in central London and £8 elsewhere, based on a 40-hour week. The national minimum wage is £5.93 an hour.

Junior Lawyers Division vice-chair Hekim Hannan said a minimum training contract salary remains a ‘live issue’ among junior lawyers, with a recent poll showing just 51% in favour.

‘Some believe a minimum salary protects against exploitation, others that it limits the number of training contacts available and that firms should be able to pay their trainees the national minimum wage,’ said Hannan.

‘But after funding their way through university and law school, would junior lawyers be able to take on the additional debt that a minimum wage would bring?’

SRA-recommended trainee salary levels also stay the same at £19,040 (central London) and £16,940 (elsewhere).