An NQ gets ready to celebrate with their cash (after sanitising the wad)
Slaughter and May has hiked salaries for its newly-qualified solicitors to £100,000.
Allen & Overy is also paying its NQs £100k - but only when a bonus is included.
The raise actually takes Slaughters NQs from £90,500 to over £100k if they also receive a discretionary bonus. Effective from 1 July, all other PQE bands are also seeing raises. "Quite surprising not gonna lie", a Slaughter and May lawyer told RollOnFriday this morning when the news was relayed to staff.
"The review is part of our established pay approach, in which we keep our lawyers' total cash position (salary plus year end discretionary bonus) under review, allowing us to adjust salaries when appropriate to do so", Executive Partner Paul Stacey told the firm's London employees in an email.
In other NQ pay news, Travers Smith has upped NQ base pay from £85,000 to £90,000, with the possibility of NQs pocketing six-figures when bonuses are included.
"With the firm-wide bonus and other discretionary payments, a newly qualified lawyer now has the potential to receive a total annual remuneration between £100,000 and £117,000," a Travers Smith spokesman confirmed to RollOnFriday.
Other firms in the same ballpark include DLA Piper and BCLP - where NQs have had a recent uplift to £88k plus a bonus. NQs at Herbert Smith Freehills can pocket from £105k to £107k, consisting of salary and a performance bonus.
Osborne Clarke has also announced this week that it has raised its NQ pay from £71k to £80k in London, while those in Reading will be paid £65k (up from £54k) and Bristol NQs will pocket £60k (up from £52k).
An Osborne Clarke spokeswoman confirmed that the firm was also dishing out higher bonuses: "In light of the extraordinary year we've experienced, we've increased our bonus awards, changing from 5%, 7% and 10% to 5%,10% and 20%, and we've rewarded substantially more people with a bonus this year", she said.
As the City pay war continues, tiers have emerged. In the next salary rung down, Gowling WLG is paying its London NQs £75,750, with those in Birmingham on £48k. A Gowling WLG spokesman confirmed that the firm was also offering a firm-wide bonus.
Up in the stratosphere, US firms such as Kirkland & Ellis, Debevoise & Plimpton, Vinson & Elkins et al are spraying their NQs with base salaries in excess of £140,000 - and that's not including the eye-watering bonuses.
Meanwhile, Withers is the latest firm to offer an additional bonus of US$5k (or the local currency equivalent) as “a thank you to staff” for their work during the pandemic “and a way for everyone to share in the firm's success this year."
NQs and other associates: please get in touch to spill the beans on your salary rises and bonuses.