graveyard house

With annual net pay of c.£87,000, six Willkie Farr NQs could club together to own this home outright; complete with feature-graveyard and south-facing zombie attacks.

Travers Smith is the latest firm to announce a pay rise for its newly qualified solicitors, which guarantees them a six figure salary. 

Travers Smith's NQs were previously on a base salary of £90,000 (with the possibility of earning six figures with a discretionary bonus), but the firm has now raised the base figure to £100,000, with effect from 1 January 2022. 

"This has been an exceptionally busy and challenging year, and the work done by our lawyers at all levels has been key to the success of the firm," a spokesman for Travers Smith told RollOnFriday. "In recognition of our lawyers' commitment and exceptional efforts, we believe that it is right that lawyers at all levels benefit from a pay rise."

The spokesman added that an NQ could potentially "receive an annual remuneration of between £110,000 and £127,000", when including firm-wide and discretionary bonuses.

Travers Smith's NQs will now be on the same base salary as their peers at Freshfields, Macfarlanes, Hogan Lovells and Simmons & Simmons, and just a smidge above the £95k paid to NQs at CMS, BCLP and Norton Rose Fulbright

The firm's spokesman said that Travers Smith had also increased lawyers' salaries at each level of PQE, although the exact detail remains unclear, as he was unable to provide figures.

Mayer Brown has hiked its NQ base salary to £105,000, up from £95k, effective from 1 January 2022.

The rise puts Mayer Brown's NQs on a level pegging with their counterparts at Herbert Smith Freehills, Baker McKenzie (from March 2022) and Ashurst (from May 2022). The salary is just a few grand below Magic Circle firms Clifford Chance, Allen & Overy, Linklaters and Slaughter and May which pay £107,500. 

In the rung above, Baker Botts confirmed to RollOnFriday that it pays its NQs a base salary of £120k. The firm's 1PQE solicitors receive a base salary of £130k, at 2PQE it's £145k, and at 3PQE it goes up to £160k.

As other US firms battle it out in London by lobbing cash at juniors, Willkie Farr has increased NQ salary from £130k to £145k, effective from 1 January 2022. The New York headquartered firm joins the £140k+ club along with the likes of Shearman & Sterling, Debevoise & Plimpton, Latham & Watkins, Milbank, Akin Gump, Simpson Thacher, and Kirkland & Ellis. While Vinson & Elkins currently boasts the highest London NQ base salary of £153,000.

However, the astronomical pay can come at a price - last year, a number of Willkie Farr associates deemed that the significant wedge was not sufficient compensation for having to put up with a tyrant partner


Tip Off ROF


Anonymous 14 January 22 10:06

Will Freeths respond by offering its trainees a subscription to Razzle and tickets to Roy Chubby Brown’s next tour? 

Dearie 14 January 22 10:43

Well done to those young lawyers. It raises 2 questions for their future: (1) where will they all end up (salary and location wise) and (2) will the clients want to pay for it?

Anonymous 14 January 22 11:52


• fewer trainees but on mega-bucks

• the majority of lawyers coming through some kind of ILEX route that the individual pays for. 

Everyone wins (apart from the individuals who have to pay).

Anonymous 14 January 22 12:00

Panda Pop, Ginsters Pie and a Snaffle will be how Browne Jacobson counter their local rival’s offer… 

Anonymous 17 January 22 15:58

NQ pay boom continues in Nottingham, with rumours that Flint Bishop will offer its trainees a one month subscription to LoveFilm. 


Anonymous 18 January 22 02:59

I'm proud to be an NQ at Dewey, Cheetham & Howe.

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