White Case

"And you can carry it home in a White Case too." 

White & Case has upped NQ salary in London to £150k.

The rise of 7%, up from £140k, is effective from 1 January. It should be a nice start to the year for White & Case's most junior lawyers, who must have been wondering how they would heat their homes, until news of their pay increase came in.

While many firms announce their NQ salary rises with a fanfare, they are often tight-lipped about pay other bands. However, White & Case has been refreshingly open, revealing that its 1PQE lawyers will earn £158,500 (up from £147,500) while 2PQE will be paid £171,000 (up from £160k). The firm said that salary at other levels from 3PQE upwards are "discretionary" but that it expects these to be "as competitive" as its NQ, 1PQE and 2PQE rises.

Meanwhile, the firm's trainees should also be able to afford big, new watches, as the firm is raising pay for its first year trainees to £56k (up from £52k), while second year trainees will now earn £61k (up from £57k).

A spokesperson for the US firm said: "Our teams in London advise leading global clients on their most important, complex, cross-border deals and disputes, and our people enjoy promotion opportunities and the benefits of the wide range of strong practices we have built in the City." The spokesperson added that the rises "are another demonstration of our position as a leading law firm globally and in the City.”

It follows news of other US firms across the City splashing the cash on salary rises. This month, various US firms have boosted pay for their newly qualified solicitors including Cleary (£164.5k), Ropes & Gray (£165k), Sidley Austin (£166.5k), Weil (£170k), Davis Polk (£170k) and Paul Hastings (£173k).

The UK's biggest firms, which traditionally employ significantly more NQs, haven’t matched them, but there have been significant increases in recent times, which include all five Magic Circle firms climbing to £125k. Meanwhile, the likes of Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells and Mayer Brown all currently pay NQs a base salary of £120k.

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


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Anonymous 02 February 24 09:20

It's all academic at this stage because the cost of their divorces will just increase in line with their overall salary. Sure, the headline figures sound great but ultimately you don't get to keep it.

Nexis 02 February 24 10:31

Firms are being "tight-lipped" about pay above the most junior level because it is the senior levels below partner that are being squeezed to pay headline-grabbing amounts to NQs.  And in many cases it is those lawyers just below partner level who are driving the cases and deals.  It's a really poor model.

@Nexis 02 February 24 11:31

Indeed. W&C 'transatlantic model' appears to mean: we pay you like a US junior, then transition to paying you like a UK senior, such that pay levels out really fast after 3 years (not that many people last longer than that before seeing the light in any event). Best seen as a decent place to start/launch pad into the actual elites. 

Briefcase observer 02 February 24 13:16

Why is there a combination lock hanging inside the briefcase? What is it securing?

Anonymous 02 February 24 15:00

Why do you think that the generative AI that made this image is so sure that most people pulling a shocked face would be looking slightly upward as if something were being held or dangled just over their face? Whatever do you think the majority of the training data could possibly have been pictures of?

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