Summer will be particularly pleasant, since Ashurst's rise is backdated to May. Time for an upgrade.
Ashurst is hiking its NQ pay to £90,000, up from £85,500.
"We carefully monitor and review our pay structures each year to attract and retain talent and remain competitive," said an Ashurst spokeswoman. "We are pleased to confirm our basic pay for newly qualified lawyers in London has increased to £90,000, excluding bonus, with effect 1 May 2021."
Clifford Chance is also hiking the base salary for its NQs to £100,000, plus an additional discretionary bonus. Previously, CC's total pay for its NQs of £100k included a binary bonus. The Magic Circle firm declined to comment on the increase.
While a number of City firms froze pay or cut it when the pandemic hit last year; the coffers are now opening up - Linklaters also recently announced a rise in pay for its NQs to £92,500, plus a discretionary performance bonus.
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 mega salaries. However, the US firms have continued their raises of eye-watering sums, with Shearman & Sterling recently announcing a pandemic-proof pay NQ pay rise from £120,000 to £135,000, while White & Case increased the base pay for its NQs from £105,000 to £130,000.
Inevitably, there is a trade-off for the huge wedge, with lawyers at US firms effectively signing up to regular marathon beastings, and a compromise on work/life balance. But to those inclined, it does provide the opportunity to pay off their parents' mortgage.
What is your firm doing about salary? Spill the beans and let RollOnFriday know.