Resetting associate comp – Better to bend than break but a rethink is still overdue

Resetting associate comp – Better to bend than break but a rethink is still overdue

While it’s surprising in some regards that it took this long, Allen & Overy has done the UK legal market a favour by substantially re-setting compensation bands for its junior lawyers. The move, confirmed on Monday (22 June), will see starting salaries and bonuses for newly-qualified lawyers in London fall from the current benchmark of £100,000 to £90,000 for the intake starting in September.

Clifford Chance later that week announced more modest cuts from £100,000 to £94,500 for salary and bonus, while Slaughter and May had already pushed down its starting base salary to £87,000 for autumn starters, from £92,000. Continue reading “Resetting associate comp – Better to bend than break but a rethink is still overdue”

Ropes ups the ante in the City talent war with £130k NQ pay package

Ropes ups the ante in the City talent war with £130k NQ pay package

In a bold play for the Boston-bred firm, Ropes & Gray has increased its London NQ salary by 8% to £130k plus bonus.

The move means a notable uptick on the previous City NQ rate of £120k and present a boon for Ropes’ appeal to young lawyers at a time of internal transition and increasing competition in the market. Continue reading “Ropes ups the ante in the City talent war with £130k NQ pay package”

Slaughters ups the ante on associate pay with PQE salary boost

Slaughters ups the ante on associate pay with PQE salary boost

City blueblood Slaughter and May has increased its salary for associates with 2.5 years post-qualified experience (PQE) or more, after putting newly-qualified (NQ) solicitors in line for a £100,000 pay package last summer.

The move means associates in the 2.5 PQE salary scale and above will now receive an increase of between 2.2% and 8.2%, effective this month. Last year’s pay hike only applied to those with up to 2.5 years PQE. Continue reading “Slaughters ups the ante on associate pay with PQE salary boost”

Norton Rose enters associate pay war putting NQs in line for £114k paycheque

Norton Rose enters associate pay war putting NQs in line for £114k paycheque

Top-performing newly qualified (NQ) solicitors at Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) will be in line to take home up to £114,000 as the firm becomes the latest to increase its starting rates amid an escalating war for associate talent in the City.

NRF confirmed today (9 October) a 9% rise to its NQ basic salary to £87,500 effective in January 2020, with bonuses of up to 30% on top of that. Continue reading “Norton Rose enters associate pay war putting NQs in line for £114k paycheque”

Baker McKenzie steps up to associate pay war with 20% NQ salary uplift

Baker McKenzie steps up to associate pay war with 20% NQ salary uplift

Baker McKenzie has become the latest law firm to put its newly-qualified (NQ) solicitors in line for a six-digit pay package with an eye-catching 23% increase to its starting rates.

The firm announced today (17 July) it is raising its basic NQ package from £77,000 to a minimum of £95,000, with performance-related bonuses bringing earnings to over £100,000. Continue reading “Baker McKenzie steps up to associate pay war with 20% NQ salary uplift”

Change was necessary: Ashurst joins the war for talent with 9% NQ pay raise

Change was necessary: Ashurst joins the war for talent with 9% NQ pay raise

City stalwart Ashurst has followed suit with peers in the Square Mile to raise the salary for newly-qualified solicitors (NQs), upping the ante to £105,000 including bonuses.

The move will mean a 9% pay increase for NQs, who were previously in line for maximum remuneration of £96,600, effective from the 2020 financial year. Continue reading “Change was necessary: Ashurst joins the war for talent with 9% NQ pay raise”

Associate pay war, anyone? Freshfields sets new Magic Circle standard by raising NQ pay to £100k

Associate pay war, anyone? Freshfields sets new Magic Circle standard by raising NQ pay to £100k

Marco Cillario assesses the City-wide implications of Freshfields’ decision to dramatically hike associate salaries

A decade after leading the way in resetting downwards the going rate for City associates, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in May set a new standard for Magic Circle firms, raising its newly-qualified (NQ) salaries from £85,000 including bonuses to a symbolic £100,000, with bonuses on top. Continue reading “Associate pay war, anyone? Freshfields sets new Magic Circle standard by raising NQ pay to £100k”

Mind the gap(s) – more of the same old inequality and fudged statistics prevalent in Big Law

Mind the gap(s) – more of the same old inequality and fudged statistics prevalent in Big Law

The second season of gender pay gap reporting has again laid bare the stark disparities between men and women throughout the legal sector. However, with only two rounds of reporting to look at so far, the trajectory of pay equality in legal is still difficult to ascertain. Instead, conversations have turned to the value of reporting gender pay in of itself, particularly given the lack of common methodology in gauging the numbers.

These concerns are not new to the latest reporting round. In March 2018 Pinsent Masons senior partner Richard Foley (pictured) criticised the current regime’s lack of consistency in reporting benchmarks. The Law Society later in November 2018 called for uniformity in gender reporting, publishing guidelines on how firms could provide more clarity on the issue. Recommendations included firms distinguishing between equity and non-equity partners, publishing a full-time equivalent (FTE) compensation gap based on the full financial year and reporting on partner bonus schemes. Continue reading “Mind the gap(s) – more of the same old inequality and fudged statistics prevalent in Big Law”

Slaughters lifts associate salaries alongside performance-related bonuses

Slaughters lifts associate salaries alongside performance-related bonuses

Slaughter and May has increased its salary rates for newly qualified (NQ) associates by £3,000, with junior associates also seeing an increase alongside performance-related end-of-year bonuses.

All associates from NQ to 18 months post-qualification (PQE) will enjoy salary increases, with NQs seeing their pay increase to £83,000 from £80,000. Pay for associates 6 months after qualification will see their pay go up £2,000 to £86,000, while associates one year and 18 months post-qualification will see their pay go up by £1,000 to £89,000 and £93,750 respectively. Continue reading “Slaughters lifts associate salaries alongside performance-related bonuses”

Ashurst seeks competitive edge with second new lawyer salary increase of 2018

Ashurst seeks competitive edge with second new lawyer salary increase of 2018

Ashurst has become the latest City firm to review its trainee and newly qualified (NQ) salaries for the second time this year, upping the latter’s basic pay to £82,000.

The changes, which take effect on 1 November, give NQs a £6,000 salary hike from the £76,000 given during the last review in May, while a performance-related bonus could bolster compensation to £94,300. Continue reading “Ashurst seeks competitive edge with second new lawyer salary increase of 2018”