London NQs board the private carriage, as regional lawyers look on.
The Trowers salary scale for its UK lawyers was leaked to RollOnFriday this week.
Trowers' NQ salary in London is up from £68,000 to £72,500, while its NQs in Manchester, Exeter and Birmingham are being given a rise from £44,000 to £47,000.
The table shows that 5PQE associates will be on £90,000, while managing associates will be on a minimum of £93,000. Meanwhile, qualified legal executives in London will be paid in excess of £40k and senior paralegals will be on at least £34k.
Elsewhere, Linklaters is the latest Magic Circle firm to offer six figures for its NQs, raising its NQ salary from £92,500 to £100,000 (not including a discretionary bonus), effective from September.
The firm joins Clifford Chance and Freshfields in offering a base pay of £100k, plus a discretionary bonus. Fellow Magic Circle firms Slaughter and May and Allen & Overy are paying their NQs £100k when a bonus is included.
DLA Piper has also upped salaries for its London NQs from £76,000 to £88,000, with those in the regions receiving an increase from £44,000 to £48,000. The rise in London is in line with NQ pay at firms such as BCLP (£88,000) and Ashurst (£90,000).
In the salary rung below that, CMS has upped its NQ pay from £75,000 to £82,000. On a par with that, Eversheds Sutherland has raised its London NQ salary from £75,500 to £82,000, with its NQs in the regions getting a rise from £45,000 to £50,000.
Meanwhile, in a similar bracket to Trowers, RPC has upped NQ pay in London from £68k to £70k and in Bristol from £48k to £49k.
The latest rises for NQs in the City illustrate the widening gulf between firms competing for junior talent. There appears to be clear tiers, with US firms offering in excess of £140k, Magic Circle firms offering £100k, the 'Silver Circle' firms offering £90k, and City firms below that (the Bronze circle?) offering salary ranging from around £70k to £80k.
Reviewing the salary scale in the leaked Trowers' table above, also makes for an interesting comparison when considering that an NQ at a major US firm on over £140k (or even a Magic Circle NQ on £100k) is earning more than a 5PQE London lawyer at Trowers, and potentially more than a 6PQE London lawyer.
Such is the gap, that based on the table, it's highly likely that the only Trowers' lawyers earning more than NQs at US firms such as Kirkland & Ellis, Debevoise & Plimpton, Vinson & Elkins et al, are the partners.
The price that most NQs at US firms pay is the possibility of beastings so magnificent, that UK firm partners can only dream of inflicting them.
If your firm is upping salary, get in touch.