With over £6k a month to spend, NRF NQs can now afford 12 loveable Santa companions a year

Norton Rose Fulbright has upped NQ salary in London to £120k.

The rise of 14%, up from £105k, will be effective from 1 April, allowing the new solicitors to splash out on premium-grade pranks for April Fool's day.  

Norton Rose has also said its NQs will have the opportunity to earn up to 40% extra salary if they hit targets for hours or fees billed, representing a grand total of £168,000. 

When asked, the firm could not say what hours would be required to rake in the maximum amount held out, but presumably it would require considerable burning of the midnight oil.

The firm also confirmed there had been salary rises "throughout the London associate pay scale," while "maintaining the differential between steps." But, as is the case with many firms, NRF was also tight-lipped when asked about the specific salaries offered for associates in bands aside from the NQ level.

NRF is also providing a six-monthly performance bonus scheme which is said should result in more fee-earners being eligible for a payout. 

The firm said that under its scheme, "qualifying fee-earners can enjoy more immediate pay back for hard work in the first half of the calendar year", while there's also the opportunity for a second half-year bonus "for those who may have had a slower start to the year".

NRF's salary rise to £120k puts the firm on a par with the likes of Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells and Mayer Brown. And just a smidge below the five Magic Circle firms that all pay their NQs a base salary of £125k. 

Meanwhile, playing chicken in a different field, US firms across the City have recently splashed the cash on salary rises for their newly qualified solicitors, including White & Case (£150k), Cleary (£164.5k), Ropes & Gray (£165k), Sidley Austin (£166.5k), Weil (£170k), Davis Polk (£170k) and Paul Hastings (£173k).

If your firm is raising NQ salary, do get in touch

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Yeah but 23 February 24 09:17

NRF may raise NQ salaries, but you know a 5PQE will be on 10p more so who cares? 

Anon 23 February 24 09:23

RPC isn't in the same market as the huge international firms and magic circle and US firms is it?   

Anon 23 February 24 09:24

It's all PR - paying NQs an amount that makes it look like these firms are leading the way, and can attract the best talent, but then the bands don't move and you get a difference of £15-20k between NQ and 5 yr pqe.  

anon 23 February 24 09:29

RPC commercial side doesn't do insurance and does high end tech and disputes work. Insurance lawyers paid even less.

Cynic 23 February 24 09:30

£85k is still too much for an NQ who’ll have little experience and no actual responsibility. Anything over £100k is frankly obscene. You’re not adding any value for your client; you’re simply a unit of production whose sole purpose is to bill an inflated hourly rate to corporate clients who won’t even bother reviewing the invoice before paying. PS these perpetual rises are obviously unsustainable, I predict a serious economic collapse once Labour have been in for a while. Hold on tight! 

Anonymous 23 February 24 09:52

"RPC commercial side doesn't do insurance and does high end tech and disputes work." - Good try, but this is a bit too subtle of a wind up to get many bites. Got a good laugh out of me though.

Anon 23 February 24 09:57

The size of deals RPC is tiny compared to the big hitters.  Yes it's tried to grow that area but come on, it isn't a top tier firm and never will be outside insurance.  


Anon 23 February 24 10:00

@ Cynic - you could make a similar case about a 1, 2 or 3 tr PQE as well.   It's actually about having people in place from whom your future partners are chosen who will add massive value.  If you don't attract the best and brightest or at least some of them as trainees with the carrot of the NQ salary then you will find it harder in the mid to long term to have succession planning from within and will need lateral hired.   No one pretends the junior associates know a lot and they aren't put in front of clients.  Their job is to do the grunt work and do it well, work hard and have stamina, record a lot of chargeable ale time and then maybe 5-10% are earmarked for partnership.   The rest leave.  That's the model.   

Anonymous 23 February 24 10:17

@Anon 10:00 - "record a lot of chargeable ale time". This is awful advice. Do no do this. Your time in the pub is not properly chargeable and should be put down as business development.

@ Yeah But 23 February 24 10:19

@ Yeah But ... pay is performance related so if a 5 year PQE is on 10p more than £120k they're clearly not doing very well 😬 there's a bump at Senior Assoc too. 

PEP is key 23 February 24 12:04

@ Cynic - Salary raises are hardly unsustainable given that for the majority of firms revenue and PEP are at least keeping pace, if not increasing more rapidly.

@ PEP is key 23 February 24 12:22

They are unsustainable at certain firms trying to keep up with the US firms but which aren’t nearly as profitable. NRF firmly in that camp. CMS also punching way above its weight on NQ salaries, an inexplicable £100k in London and look what happens - mass layoffs. 

Paul Weiss NQ 23 February 24 13:37

I'll earn more than the average Norton Rose, RPC and CMS partner rem added together. 

Ho ho ho.

Nothing is free in life 23 February 24 18:58

The pay increase simply reflects a commensurate increase (c.10%) in the target hours that need to be billed every year by fee earners to meet minimum performance standards.

Poor Us 23 February 24 19:52

Another Simmons senior associate here taking home the same as NQs in most London firms. Nuts.

Rofler 23 February 24 21:45

The funny thing is, if you leave an amazing firm and go to somewhere slightly dodge, they will often pay you massively out of sync - so hold your nose, move down the tiers and take more than you might expect for a whole lot less work. 

Anonymous 24 February 24 12:52

Simmons get paid 107, 112, 117, 122, 127, 132 etc. or thereabouts i.e. about 5k for each level of PQE, so perhaps the Simmons associates are on c.140k with a 25k bonus for the statements above to be true. But there appears to be the assumption that the NRF bonus is real rather than a PR statement. There will be a set of metrics and a document which on paper suggests that bonus is possible, but not a single associate will likely receive that bonus; it will be contingent on 3000 billable hours, bringing in 2 F500 clients and bringing in £10m of work, plus wearing a top hat serving everyone tea at precisely 14:13 on Wednesdays.

Anonymous 24 February 24 14:42

Even if 5 PQE is earning 20pence more than NQ, they're all still earning more than pretty much everyone else in all other sectors, including significantly more experienced lawyers who work in-house/civil service

Boston PI lawyer 24 February 24 23:12

Slaving away all year for your masters for that? I've made $250,000 gross this year already working 11-5pm and 8-10pm (if needed). Own if possible.  

Pound of flesh 26 February 24 12:33

I wonder whether the likes of WFW will follow suit as a comparable. 

Anon 01 March 24 08:11

"Chance of £168k". 

Yeah. Like I have the chance of winning £15 in the national lottery this eve. 

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