Bringing home the bacon, American-style.
Vinson & Elkins and Debevoise & Plimpton are the latest US firms to shower their NQs with eye-watering pay rises.
Vinson & Elkins has boosted NQ salaries to £153,000, up from £147,500 (and that's not including an end of year bonus). The salary rise, which came into effect on 1 July, should be enough to make newly-qualified lawyers break into a dance.
The US firm offered roles to all six of its London-qualifying trainees, with five of them accepting a position, giving the firm a retention score of 83%.
"We are incredibly proud of all our qualifiers and their ability to thrive in a new working environment, and look forward to seeing them continue to excel in their new positions," said the firm's Training Principal Andrew Nealon.
Felllow US firm Debevoise & Plimpton has also raised its NQ salary to £143,700, up from £134,800 (again, not counting a bonus). The firm can boast a 100% retention score, with all nine of its London- qualifying trainees staying on.
A spokesman for the firm also confirmed that there would also be pay rises for each band of associates, ranging from £145,400 for 1PQE lawyers (up from £134,800) to £266k for 9PQE+ lawyers (up from £248,300).
Other US firms to have recently raised the bar for NQ pay, with salary in excess of £140,000 (plus bonus) include Milbank, Akin Gump, Simpson Thacher and Sidley Austin. NQs at Sidley Austin may wish to thank their masters for the pay rise, or not as the case may be.
A Slaughter and May trainee recently scooped a prize for an essay addressing the threat to UK firms represented by US interlopers; but in a tactful omission, did not mention the gargantuan salary packages on offer from US firms.
While some City firms have recently upped salary, such as Clifford Chance offering its NQs £100k, the US firms, without a thought for the bank balances of partners at UK firms, are dangling the biggest carrots.
The price that most NQs at US firms pay is the possibility of beastings so magnificent, that UK firm partners can only dream of inflicting them.
If your firm is upping salary, get in touch.