Magic circle firm Slaughter and May has increased pay for newly qualified lawyers by just 2% this year – after hiking pay by 7.5% last year.

Following an annual salary review, pay for newly qualified lawyers has risen from £70,000 to £71,500. Meanwhile, pay for those with one year of PQE has risen by 5% to £75,500 and those with two years’ PQE will now receive £90,250 compared to £87,000 the year before.

Associates with three years’ PQE have got a 3% pay rise to £99,750.

Trainees in their first year will see their pay packets grow by 4% to £42,500, while salaries for second-year trainees will increase by 3% to £47,500. The new rates came into effect at the start of May.

The new salary levels put NQ pay at the firm below that at magic circle firm Linklaters, which is giving newly qualified lawyers at least £81,000 a year, including a bonus. Its top performers will get as much as £91,000, 30% up from their basic salaries last year.