Average salary rates – what could the Route1 sign-on bonus mean for you?

22 May 2019

At the start of the year, Route1 introduced a new offering to our candidates that placed us at the forefront of innovation in the sector, and you in a position to hit the ground running in your new role: a sign-on bonus totalling 5% of your anticipated salary.

Average salary rates with Route1

This offer is available for any candidates who obtain a role via our service at Route1, and is intended to be particularly welcome for NQs entering the market. Another candidate group who would benefit from our offer are those of you moving to a role in a new city, whether the trajectory be into London, as you go onwards and upwards in your career, or away from the Big Smoke, if you prefer the less-pressured lifestyle of a smaller city or a regional law firm.

Naturally, the size of this sign-on bonus will depend on your salary, and equally naturally, that salary will depend on the role on which you are about to embark, your career experience and specialism, and the law firm that has spotted your talent and taken you off the market; this being so, we thought we’d take a closer look at the sort of salary you can hope to be awarded.

The salaries awaiting NQ lawyers in the UK have risen sharply in recent years, propelled by UK firms’ desire to keep up with the outsize remuneration that is common in the US, according to a recent publication by The Lawyer. The competition has led some London firms to offer a flat-rate NQ salary that is complemented by hefty performance bonuses, which ‘handily obscures the actual amount the ‘average’ NQ will earn.’ Magic Circle firms lead the charge here; the average salary of an NQ lawyer at Allen & Overy is £81,000, while the equivalent for a respectable regional firm, such as Ashfords, is £40,000.

Those of you who are changing law firms mid-career, rather than just starting out, can expect an extremely healthy sign-on bonus, if you make use of Route1 to side-step work-wise. Crunching the numbers a couple of years back, the Telegraph charted the progression of legal salaries, and reported that ‘most [lawyers] will see their pay rise by a staggering £25,000 every five years.’ Another welcome insight is that lawyers with 10-15 years’ PQE under their belt receive an average salary that exceeds £100,000, and beyond that, a salary pushing £200,000 is not uncommon. Of course, those who have graduated from top-ranking legal courses such as those offered at Cambridge, the LSE, and Edinburgh are heavily represented among the top earners.

A word of caution is appropriate here, however; AllAboutLaw sombrely advises budding lawyers not to expect a conveyer belt to silk and riches, despite the very generous salaries on offer, particularly from City firms. When choosing your area of specialisation, please be aware that ‘legislation is constantly changing, meaning that areas of the law that might have been lucrative in the past may no longer be.’ One example of this is conveyancing; ‘the introduction of licensed conveyancers’ means that you ‘no longer have to pay qualified solicitors’ rates to get conveyancing work done, which has reduced the value of this kind of work.’

You have every right to be proud of your position in the field of law, and we at Route1 are working hard to make your formal entry to the paid workplace as smooth as possible. Whatever your ambitions, if you secure your next role with our help, the sign-on bonus we offer will ensure that you don’t have to worry about the first month’s rent if you’re moving to a new city, or if you can afford the Italian shoes you’ve had in mind since you first saw Ally McBeal, and which are part of the uniform at your new City home.

Whatever your envisioned future, you’ll get there more easily with us. Have you reviewed your latest job matches through Route1?

Route1 is an award winning marketplace for legal talent. For any questions, please contact our Engagement Team or visit our Contact Us page for more information.


We have big ambitions to permanently change the way people hire and get hired, both in the legal and other white collar sectors, using GDPR compliant, content-rich, value-added recruitment techniques. We place transparency, charity, and candidate control at the heart of our model.

Route1 was founded in the UK in 2015 and is headquartered in London. Our founders and investors include experienced lawyers, digital entrepreneurs, recruitment consultants and HR professionals.

Route1 is an award winning marketplace for legal talent. For any questions, please contact our Engagement Team or visit our Contact Us page for more information.

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