NQ pay rises at Linklaters, with top performers set to earn over £90,000

£1,000 basic salary increase

Linklaters has announced it’s increasing base pay for newly-qualified lawyers (NQs) by a grand, moving it from £77,500 to £78,500. This means top-performing associates at the magic circle firm could earn in excess of £90,000, when basic salary and performance-dependent bonus are combined.

Linklaters’ categorises most of its NQs as either “high performers” or “median performers”. The former typically pull in over £90,000 annually with bonuses, while the latter take home over the £80,000 mark. Given Links’ £1,000 increase, assuming bonuses remain the same, Legal Cheek understands the firm’s NQs will now earn £82,000-£92,000.

Having chatted to a spokesperson for the firm this afternoon, Legal Cheek understands trainee pay remains unchanged (£43,000 in year one; £49,000 in year two). A spokesperson for Linklaters said:

We closely monitor salaries and bonuses to ensure that our reward levels remain extremely competitive. We are committed to maintaining a performance culture and rewarding high performing employees with a bonus system that appropriately recognises their contribution.

The firm — which recently added a rainbow-coloured lighting scheme to its plush City HQ reception in celebration of Pride Month — declined to comment on whether it had upped the pay packets of its more experienced associates.

Linklaters was a strong performer in the Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey. The firm — which offers 110 City training contracts a year — scored A*s and As for eight of the ten categories, including training, social life, office, perks and canteen. Its full scorecard can be viewed here.

The One Silk Street player is not the only firm whose pay has hit the headlines this month. On Friday, Legal Cheek reported magic circle rival Slaughter and May had frozen the pay packets of its London-based lawyers. NQs will therefore continue to earn £78,000, though a Slaughters spokesperson did confirm it intends to keep pay scales “under review”.

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