inflate

An NQ appreciates the US-style inflation.


US firm Weil is increasing its NQ salary in London to £145,000.

Weil has raised NQ base pay from £133,000 to £145,000 (fixed to sterling), with a bonus on top. And there's a chance that NQs might not have to wait long for a further rise, as the firm is planning to review the salary again in December. Weil also recently boarded the Covid thank you bonus bus by awarding its London lawyers one-off payments which in some cases exceeded £50k for its senior associates.

Since the Spring, US firms in London have sprayed their NQs with even more cash as the war for talent in the City has led to spiralling salaries and sign-on bonuses.

NQs in the £140k+ club, are exclusively at US-firms, including Gibson Dunn, Goodwin ProctorDebevoise & Plimpton, Latham & Watkins, Milbank, Akin Gump, Simpson Thacher, and Kirkland & Ellis. Not everyone has joined, and it remains to be seen how quickly any of them will catch up to Vinson & Elkins, which boosted NQ salaries from £147,500 to £153,000 in June.

Top UK firms have hiked NQ pay to six figures, increasing the pay gap for those junior lawyers in the tier below, where pay freezes remain in place.

Weil has also demonstrated its pandemic-proof credentials with a trainee retention score of 100% this autumn, as it is keeping all seven of its final-seat trainees in London. It matches the firm's perfect retention score of 100% last autumn.

Meanwhile, Clifford Chance has announced a trainee retention score of 70%. The firm made 42 offers to its 53 qualifying trainees, with 37 accepting. It is a drop from the firm's recent retention scores of 88% in the spring, and 78% last autumn. 

Fellow Magic Circle firm Slaughter and May posted an 82% retention score. The firm offered 42 positions to its cohort of 45 trainees, and 37 accepted their offer. It follows a decent run for the firm, having scored 93% in the last two rounds, this spring and last autumn. "We are delighted with our continued high percentage of qualifiers, which has been consistent over many years," said a Slaughter and May spokeswoman.

How has your firm fared with retention rates, and NQ salary rises? Let RollOnFriday know


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