HR teams play the latest round of NQ salary "stick or twist".
"We have increased our NQ salaries to £125,000 p.a. in line with the market," an A&O spokesperson confirmed to RollOnFriday.
The rise follows previous indications by both firms that they would resist the City pay war. Last summer, Allen & Overy told its lawyers that the firm was freezing associate salaries. While Linklaters sent an internal email to say that it wouldn't "rush into matching salaries at NQ level."
The 16% increase (up from £107,500) was introduced by both firms on 1 May. Presumably it will go down better with A&O NQs than the £10 'Percy Pig bonus' offered to some lawyers at the firm last year.
NQ base salary at Links and A&O is now on a par with fellow Magic Circle firms Clifford Chance and Freshfields. Slaughter and May currently pays its NQs £115k. While Silver Circle firm, Herbert Smith Freehills, is in a similar ballpark paying its NQs £120k.
However, given that it has been a year since both Clifford Chance and Freshfields upped their NQ pay to £125k, it remains to be seen whether those firms will raise in the near future, setting a conundrum for their rivals to play catch-up again.
Playing chicken in a different field, 'BigLaw' US firms with offices in London, still offer the biggest wedge by far to their junior lawyers.
The elite US firms have adopted the Cravath salary scale over the pond, which is converted to sterling salaries when paid to lawyers in London. This has led to eye-watering sums, particularly due to favourable FX rates in recent times (some NQs may still offer thanks to Kwasi Kwarteng and Liz Truss on pay day).
Has your firm raised salary? Let RollOnFriday know.