Comment: Why giving associates exposure to clients could be a win-win scenario

Comment: Why giving associates exposure to clients could be a win-win scenario

Law firms spend big money making sure they have the best junior lawyers. A newly qualified lawyer at a Magic Circle firm can expect to take home over £100,000 a year.

But what do clients really think of those highly paid associates? Continue reading “Comment: Why giving associates exposure to clients could be a win-win scenario”

Guest comment: time for law firms to play catch-up on parental leave

Guest comment: time for law firms to play catch-up on parental leave

Nathan Peart, managing director at Major, Lindsey & Africa, says firms must move with the times when it comes to arrangements for prospective parents

Parental leave continues to be a conversation at the forefront of law firm policy development, but it still has a long way to go to reflect the modern norm. As firms examine the changes in the way we work and develop policy that reflects local customs but still aligns with a firm’s ethos, it is also important to remember the people at the centre of this policy – prospective parents. Continue reading “Guest comment: time for law firms to play catch-up on parental leave”

Guest comment: The post-pandemic recruitment race

Guest comment: The post-pandemic recruitment race

Nathan Peart, managing director at Major, Lindsey & Africa, says firms must become flexible or lose their best associates.

Without much choice, the legal industry got flexible last year. Even firms that snubbed working from home pre-pandemic had to get on board. Through the lens of recruitment, this has laid bare the realities of law firm life – without the fancy offices, wining and dining and team camaraderie, associates have reflected on the core of their job and what they get in return for mounting workloads and blurring lines between work and home. Many are questioning whether their firm is all it is cracked up to be. Continue reading “Guest comment: The post-pandemic recruitment race”

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”

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”

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”

The talent debate: The war rages on

The talent debate: The war rages on

James Tsolakis, NatWest: One of the great challenges setting this up with Alex is in the long period I have been a banker to the legal profession, the rate of change is faster than I have seen for a long time. The challenge was defining the discussion. It could have been IPOs, artificial intelligence, international expansion – any number of things. I am pleased we chose a subject that will ultimately touch all these other subjects driving change in the sector.

Alex Novarese, Legal Business: Kicking off, Sharon, what worries you about talent? Continue reading “The talent debate: The war rages on”

Comment: The associate pay smoke screen is fooling no-one

Comment: The associate pay smoke screen is fooling no-one

Associate pay used to be simple. Lockstepped and transparent to the nth degree on both sides of the Atlantic, you knew exactly where you stood and exactly when the legal market was overheating.

There were obvious downsides to such transparency. Back in the late 1990s/2000s boom, a salary war triggered by Palo Alto law firms within weeks translated into huge hikes in New York. Soon enough London followed when SJ Berwin announced 25% pay hikes that spread through the market like wildfire. This was the first age of the online message boards, which further stoked the inflationary pay cycle. Continue reading “Comment: The associate pay smoke screen is fooling no-one”

Associate pay smoke screen: it’s fooling no-one

Associate pay smoke screen: it’s fooling no-one

Associate pay used to be simple. Lockstepped and transparent to the nth degree on both sides of the Atlantic, you knew exactly where you stood and exactly when the legal market was overheating.

There were obvious downsides to such transparency. Back in the late 1990s/2000s boom, a salary war triggered by Palo Alto law firms within weeks translated into huge hikes in New York. Soon enough London followed when SJ Berwin announced 25% pay hikes that spread through the market like wildfire. This was the first age of the online message boards, which further stoked the inflationary pay cycle. Continue reading “Associate pay smoke screen: it’s fooling no-one”