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‘Competitive remuneration key’: White & Case hikes associate pay with NQs seeing a 17% increase

White & Case‘s London associates have seen a significant increase in their pay with the US firm awarding its newly qualified (NQ) associates with a £15,000 pay hike for 2017.

NQs will see a 17% increase to their salaries taking home £105,000. Those lawyers with one years’ post-qualified experience (PQE) have seen a 16% raise from £95,000 to £110,000. Two years’ PQE take home pay has seen the largest percentage increase, up 19% to £120,000.

By the time White & Case’s lawyers reach three years’ PQE, their pay becomes discretionary, with the firm saying it expects remuneration to be as competitive as banded pay levels. The firm’s bonus arrangements for its lawyers in London are separate to their salaries, which are paid out after White & Case’s financial year end.

Trainees also saw a bump in their pay, receiving a £2,000 increase. First year trainees will take home £46,000, while second year will take home £50,000.

A statement from the firm said: ‘Student debt, increasing inflation and the high cost of living in London make competitive remuneration key for the brightest young lawyers in considering their career options. In this environment, and following discussions with partners and feedback from our London employee committee, White & Case has significantly increased its legal salary grid for 2017 in London, including an increase for our trainees. The increase in the legal salary grid is a positive change which also reflects the strong performance of the firm globally and of our people in London.’

White & Case’s London office saw a 4% increase in revenue to around $290m in 2016 with global revenues moving up 7% to $1.63bn, up significantly on last year’s 1% rise to $1.52bn. Profits per equity partner also jumped by 2% to $2.05m up on last year’s $2.02m. Revenue per lawyer saw a 5% increase to $833,000 after 2015’s dip of less than 1%.

White & Case’s NQ pay follows Shearman & Sterling’s UK pay increases, which were announced earlier this month. Shearman’s NQ pay rose by 10.5% from £95,000 to £105,000 with mid-level associates receiving a 9.5% bump in their pay from £126,000 to £138,000. The start of the senior associate salary band has risen by 5.6%, up to £165,000 on last year’s £156,000.