Somebody has had a good pandemic
White & Case has announced a pandemic-proof pay rise for its NQs to £130,000, up from £105,000.
The US firm will also raise the salary for its 1 PQE solicitors to £137,500 (up from £110,000) and for its 2 PQE solicitors to £150,000 (up from £120,000). The pay for first year trainees will be raised to £50,000 (up from £48,00) and second year trainees will be paid £55,000 (up from £53,000)
“Following discussions with partners, we are increasing legal salaries in London, including for trainees," said a White & Case spokesman. "The salary increases, which are effective from 1 January 2021, are another demonstration of our position as a leading law firm globally and in the City.”
White & Case held its pay for NQs during the pandemic, during a time when City firms and some of the Magic Circle cut salary. During the halcyon days of summer 2019, City firms were succumbing to the NQ gold rush with the Magic Circle hiking NQ pay to £100k. It was widely seen at the time as a move to turn junior eyes back from US firms, which have sprayed NQs with salaries of over £130,000 (and that's not counting the bonus). But now, if other US firms follow White & Case with an increased wedge, the gulf in pay in the City could widen substantially.
Students looking to chase the dollar when they graduate can apply for White & Case's virtual, and possibly prophetic, work experience scheme.