A Croydon NQ encounters some City NQs
More UK firms are hiking NQ salary, as firms continue to dangle the carrot to attract junior lawyers.
Kennedys is upping its NQ salary in London from £50,000 to £80,000 - a rise of 60% - from this month. Kennedys NQs will now receive the same base salary as their peers at London offices of Clyde & Co, Charles Russell Speechlys and Trowers & Hamlins.
Womble Bond Dickinson hiked NQ pay in London from £68,000 to £78,000 in May (a rise of almost 15%). The firm also upped pay in its regional offices, including Bristol NQ salary rising from £50k to £60k (a 20% rise) and Leeds NQ pay going up from £45k to £55k (22%).
A spokeswoman for the firm said: "The increase reflects the changes in a very dynamic, competitive market, our commitment to the retention and progression of our current lawyers and our desire to continue to attract new talent."
Harbottle & Lewis increased NQ salary from £65,000 to £75,000 (a rise of over 15%), effective from 1 June. Charles Leveque, managing partner at Harbottle & Lewis commented: “In an increasingly competitive international legal market, we recognise the importance of equally competitive salaries to attract and retain the very best talent and continue to provide exceptional client service."
Leveque added: “We have taken proactive steps, alongside many of our industry peers, to ensure we are recognising and investing in exceptional talent at all levels.”
Extracts from two publications
However, when RollOnFriday contacted the firms, they both rubbished the reports, and confirmed the figures were inaccurate. RollOnFriday will spare the blushes of the publications - not least, to prevent creating a rod for our own back.
For context, if sterling continues to nosedive against the dollar, it may not be long until NQ pay surpasses £180k in the City; as one of the BigLaw US firms that adopts the Cravath scale and converts salaries to sterling for London lawyers, will hike again as the FX rate changes.
At the other end of the scale, a legal recruiter told RollOnFriday that they were in touch with a NQ solicitor who was "a good candidate" but had been working at a high street practice near Croydon "since mid-2019 and has never had a pay rise. They qualified earlier this year, and are still on £14,000 p.a."