News

Baker McKenzie ups NQ solicitor pay by almost A QUARTER to £95,000

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Potential earnings could exceed £100,000 with bonus

Baker McKenzie announced today a whopping 23% increase in its pay packet for newly qualified (NQ) solicitors to £95,000. The package includes a £90,000 base salary and a £5,000 signing-on bonus, a total uplift of almost a quarter from the previous level of £77,000.

There is also the potential to reap further rewards with a performance-related bonus that could, according to the firm: “[bring] their potential earnings to more than £100,000.” A spokesperson at the firm said:

“We are committed to remunerating our people fairly and competitively. Accordingly, we have raised our NQ package in line with the London market.”

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The news brings Bakers’ NQ salaries roughly inline with magic circle firms. The total potential payout at Linklaters, for instance, is £100,000 (a combination of base salary and performance-related bonus). Ditto at Clifford Chance. Outside of the magic circle, Herbert Smith Freehills pays at a similar level (£105,000 if you include performance-related pay) to Bakers’ new heights.

This will be good news to many since, according to the most recent Legal Cheek Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey, one of the main gripes at Bakers has been the NQ pay.

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106 Comments

Kirkland

LMFAO 😂😂😂

(150)(255)

Anonymous

My office beta. Right now. Bring the snow and bills.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

So many Kirkland employees on this site, I assume that means you must get a lot of free time and good work/life balance

(43)(5)

Anonymous

Yeah the first time that joke was said it was funny pal.

(24)(3)

Anonymous

Yeah probably a bit like the first “hurhur this is nothing compared to MY salary, I have a LaMbO” might’ve been funny

(47)(0)

Anonymous

Savage burn

Anonymous

Brothers! Sisters!

This is sheer greed from metropolitan elites and other semitic races!

Jeremy Corbyn will tackle greed through taxation and promote muslim communities!

VOTE LABOUR

FOR THE MANY, NOT THE FEW!!!!!

Rupert

🍗

(0)(2)

Anonymous

🧠

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Am I the only person who is completely disinterested in the salaries for NQs, and the retention rate after training contract, completely uninteresting? It’s lazy journalism instead of researching and writing pieces with something interesting to say.

(8)(11)

Anonymous

Yes.

(8)(1)

Shoots&leaves

Depends whether you meant uninterested

(4)(0)

Anonymous

I think disinterested is still a word pal

(2)(1)

Anonymous

Baker McKenzie is still a Mickey Mouse law firm. Operates like McDonald’s franchise model, opening in every country. I guess you would only work for this second rate law firm if you’ve got a low 2.1/poor background.

(75)(56)

Future trainee

Being on a base salary of £90k after two years at this “Micky Mouse” firm with a “low 2.1/poor background” is VERY decent if you compare it to earning potential in other careers after being 2 years+ in the job. I doubt the trainees that are offered a job post-TC don’t care about how the firm operates/how many offices it has when they’re racking in more than a comfortable salary. I’m sure the majority of aspiring solicitors would take a TC from this “second rate” firm too.

(40)(50)

Kirkland NQ

Taking a TC at this firm is like purchasing a townhouse outside of Chelsea and Westminster – or purchasing a ‘used’ Lambo. It’s still ‘VERY decent’, but painfully second rate.

(14)(22)

Anon

I think you’d have to have quite a sad existence if you were that bothered about the prestige attached to a law firm, especially so when there’s a decent law firm that is offering £90k that you still turn your nose up at. Outside the world of law, people care more about you as a person.

(19)(23)

Anonymous

Baker McKenzie is the sort of second rate place you go if you’re a Warwick graduate.

(58)(8)

Anonymous

I’ll have you know Warwick is the best university in Coventry!

(11)(0)

Anonymous

To the ridiculous haters. Look, sorry, you were rejected, keep your chin up, and apply again next year.

(12)(4)

Anonymous

Warwick Law School – what a faded manor that one is. For how long can a now decidedly mid-tier school hang onto the coat tails of a Russell Group University before being brushed off?

(5)(1)

Anonymous

Packed with chippy, badly educated plebs from state schools.

(16)(1)

Cambridge LLM

I would rather shave my balls with a chainsaw than to work at Baker Mckenzie…

(63)(14)

Baker McKenzie NQ

Top bantz, 10/10.

(42)(1)

Anonymous

To be fair, that’s pretty phat

(9)(0)

SC trainee

Any news re increases throughout the PQE ranks at Bakers?

This is somewhat misleading – obviously still an increase on £77k, but the base is actually £90k. The £5k signing bonus will only apply at NQ level.

This just screams of bunching the NQ-3 PQE ranks, such that those who are a few years qualified might not actually feel much of a boost.

If so, completely different from some other firms, which I hear have boosted throughout.

NQ pay is only relevant for 1 year.

(6)(3)

Anonymous

Not only relevant for 1 year though. Raises and bonuses are typically a percentage of salary so if you start on more that is likely to pay dividends as you go up through the ranks.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Hence the question by how much.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

It’ll typically be a band. Say 5-15% of base each year depending on performance. That system won’t change just because NQs had a big bump. But I guess they might be more inclined to put next years 1PQE in the 5% bracket

A non-knee mouse

Incoming comments from 2nd year uni students living off ramen noodles pretending to be Kirkland and Ellis NQ’s…

(23)(19)

Kirkland Trainee (Debt Finance)

*Kirkland & Ellis. You really know how to spell. Good luck with applying for TCs for the next 20 years.

(43)(9)

Anonymous

Burn 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥

(20)(2)

Henry Hatton Hippomotomous

Bakers now pays a base salary equal to Linklaters, CC, A&O and Slaughter and May. Whatever your opinions on the firm this is a VERY strong move. And quite frankly needed from a firm who hasnt got much to differentiate itself other than its employment practice and diversity initiatives.

A mid tier that firm pays an equal pay with MC firms and US joints such as Orrick, Winston, McDermott?? madness.

bring on NRF and DLA next

(60)(0)

SPB Slave

Is Orrick a top firm? What can one expect to trouser as an NQ there?

(10)(2)

SPB Slavemaster

Back to billing slave! You’re going open plan soon…

(12)(0)

Spb

Open plan offices coming up March 2020, redundancies to follow…

(3)(0)

Mr T

Baker’s have already made lots of people redundant this year. 3% pay rise for the support staff provided your face fits. Also Baker’s are making the bonus even hard to get next year.

Wallis

Orrick pays £95k NQ. Nice firm too if you’re into tech

(12)(1)

SPB Slave

Sorry, too low for me. Need an elite spot rate firm even though I am into tech.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

Used to be, but their reputation in the London tech market has taken a bit of a hammering of late.

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Has it? Still #No.1 for VC deals in Europe.

Anonymous

They are, but that’s a lagging indicator. I worked for a company helped fundraise for and found some of their work to be sloppy, and judging from discussions with our VC, other portfolio companies, and a startup GC who had used them extensively, that’s been a pretty consistent experience.

The one time I sent them work it took them 6x longer than I had taken to reach the same conclusion before farming it out to them (which we did because the business didn’t like my answer).

Whether anyone takes up their mantle, or who that is, remains to be seen, but they no longer seem to be the sophisticated buyer’s first choice in London. Your mileage may vary.

Anon

A rare insightful comment on LC. Thanks. Any thoughts on Cooley as a firm for VC stuff then? Who do you think the market is heading towards as the leading VC law firm?

Anonymous

Haven’t dealt with Cooley in London, but a few in-housers at some top London VCs came from there. My only direct experience with the firm was with a single partner in California who seemed pretty useless, but I doubt that’s representative.

Taylor Wessing and Bird & Bird are well liked (no idea how 2Birds have maintained their low NQ rate this long), but the cream of the TW crop just absconded to Goodwin, who are making interesting moves in London and have led a plurality of the US tech IPOs this year. Wilson Sonsini also talk a good game, but I don’t know how much they have at the junior end here.

Boutiques often get used by VCs too (Marriott Harrison being the one I know). If you want to know who acts for the tech companies themselves, a good thing to do is to find names of companies that recently raised money, then look at their docs on Companies House. Harder to tell who acts for the funds without contacts in the market.

Anonymous

2Birds has gone up substantially.

O. R. Rick

Orrick actually now pays £105k NQ, as of last year.

(15)(0)

Anonymous

Phat whack for a place like Orrick

Anonymous

You will work all hours at Orrick so the money will be deserved. It’s a good shop though (despite what’s said above).

Anonymous

Doesn’t come close to Cooley in the UK, IMHO.

(1)(0)

Prospective Employment NQ

Anyone able to provide an insight as to BM’s employment practice? Specifically, is it overwhelmingly corporate support advisory stuff or do they do decent contentious work as well?

(1)(0)

Ex BM employment associate

Not the most up to date, as I left Bakers a few years ago, but during my time the majority of work was advisory. Not so much corporate support (though there was some), more employment specific stuff – lots of international redundancy and restructuring exercises, fair bit of explaining UK employment rights to US companies (often to their bafflement/horror). We had some interesting contentious stuff, but 90+ % of it settled before actually getting to tribunal. Definitely a good department to qualify into for quality of work, prestige on CV, etc. but they do work you hard – some people thrive on the pressure, others think it’s not worth it and get out after a couple of years…

(1)(0)

Current Emp Associate

Agree with the above, aside from lots of litigation now!

Corp support is always part of the job, but doesn’t make up more than 30% of your role unless you want it to.

(0)(0)

Baker McKenzie NQ

I so wish this were actually true… 🙁

(27)(1)

Anonymous

Comment defo getting removed.

(1)(3)

Anonymous

Alex/LC are against free speech. Defo getting deleted. We need to all move to roll on friday.

(17)(0)

Anonymous

I’m a student so I don’t have any real opinion on the matter, but why so much hate for Baker McKenzie? I don’t necessarily disagree, I just want to be enlightened 🙂

(5)(6)

Anonymous

It’s not exceptional in any practice area except maybe employment

Pay was also an issue but this raise appears to have addressed that

(4)(7)

Who took the keys to my Bimmer?

People are just upset that this mid rate firm which they’ve dismissed for years is making a power move. Don’t be too swayed by it

Strong employment, IP and tech practices. Known to work with some big names in silicon valley. Mid level corporate and banking. Much better culture than MC firms however hours known to be just as bad (not that this matters anymore as pay has increased lol). Smallish cohort size which is good. Strong client secondments. Good diversity initiatives-which upsets some of the toffs in the comments.

Ultimately decent place to train. It’s certainly not an elite firm but quite frankly who cares now when pay is this strong.

(61)(8)

Anonymous

LC commenters come across pathetically bitter on these sorts of articles, and in ones dealing with universities being better than each other. I’ve found the interactions on RoF to be more salient than the typical knee-jerk reaction of LC commenters in response to a uni/firm that they do not/have not belonged to

(16)(12)

Anonymous

Strong Pensions team too.

(6)(4)

Anonymous

It’s not a *bad* firm. However in terms of the calibre of the formal training you’ll receive it lags far behind the Magic Circle (plus firms like Macfarlanes, Travers Smith etc.) and it doesn’t even have strong informal training like at some American firms, as it rarely acts in major/interesting transactions. Plus the hours are notoriously long, the pay is mediocre (though somewhat better now), it’s struggling financially as a result of a fairly moronic expansion strategy, and the office is a bit grotty.

(2)(4)

Anonymous

Completely inaccurate other than shet office.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Any rises on eversheds?

(0)(1)

ZONE 1

Actually a decrease of 10%

(47)(0)

CMS 4th Seat Trainee

No news from the battery farm.

(15)(1)

Penny W.

Our firm is excellent as it is, no need for some ugly raises or some such…

(13)(2)

Anonymous

Lol shut up. You’ve been a ‘fourth seat trainee’ for the past year rofl.

(0)(0)

CMS 4th Seat Trainee

It is a hereditary position

(19)(0)

Anonymous

anyone know what the pay is at cripps?

(0)(3)

Oxford BA History

Wtf who???

(22)(2)

Bloods

U wanna b blasted fool ?!

(14)(0)

Anonymous

are cripps llp a good firm?

(1)(2)

Anonymous

Crip by name, crap by nature

(9)(0)

Anonymous

LegalCheek this is how we would like you to report . Thank you very much for listening

(3)(0)

Brian Griffin

I have a tip if you wish to get into Baker & McKenzie:

Wish it, Want it, Do it.

(1)(2)

Anonymous

W&C is the way forward.

(1)(5)

Anonymous

What does W&C stand for? Withers and Cooley?

(3)(0)

Anonymous

dude seriously? it white and case

(0)(2)

1st Year Camb Student

There’s a lot of negativity to Baker in these comments. I’ve just done the 1st year of my law degree and I’m puzzled, (not knowing much about Baker myself).

Can anyone shed some light and be serious as to why they’d hate to work there?

(0)(4)

Anonymous

I used to be eyeing the door as I was working the same hours as the other side (MC/US) for dramatically less money. Now I have a slight issue as there is a genuine lack of psychopaths in my team and I am able to WFH as suits me. I would say I genuinely like approx. 60% of my team and even enjoy the occasional social event with them outside of work. My dilemma is whether this oddity amongst City firms (liking colleagues) is worth giving up for top tier US pay. I imagine that as I move further up the ladder and the pay gap gets bigger, I’ll eventually take the plunge. There’s absolutely no reason to move to the MC now.

(9)(3)

Anonymous

Let’s go vereins! DLA and CMS, match this!

(2)(0)

Anonymous

DLA possibly, CMS lmao never

(7)(0)

Anonymous

CMS raise to 75k confirmed. Merger with US titan looming as well.

(0)(0)

pass mi da blunt

Lmaooo u been smoking again blud ??

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Greenberg Glusker merger?

(8)(0)

Anonymous

No, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army

Anonyman

How do people have the audacity to insult this salary increase? I doubt that the supposed “US firm associates” that are ridiculing this have even secured a training contract, and are just trying to exercise the vast chips that rest upon their feeble shoulders.

They’d bite your hand off for a training contract at Baker McKenzie chances are.

SAD!

(22)(2)

Anonymous

Of course they haven’t. If you want a comment thread made up of actual solicitors, not frustrated undergrads, head to roll on friday

(4)(0)

STEM career changer

The figure is good, but the increase is impressive – 23k more is no joke, they must be doing very well

(4)(3)

Retard & Co. LLP

Upping from £77k to £95k is a £23k increase? You sure you’re a STEM student?

(24)(4)

Anonymous

I’d rather join Sull&Crom or Simpson Thacher

(3)(0)

Kirkland NQ

Who?

(2)(8)

Anonymous

Sull&Crom, you know, that firm that’s better than yours

(8)(2)

Kirkland NQ

LOL almost crashed the lambo laughing on the way to work while reading that.

(5)(1)

Anonymous

Kirkland is a crap firm which does dull pro forma PE work and makes money only by hiring a few star laterals and working juniors absurdly hard. 90% of its deals aren’t legally complex, and I wouldn’t trust anyone who’s trained there. SullCrom is vastly better for difficult work.

Anonymous

Simpson Thacher > Kirkland

(6)(1)

Anonymous

Every day of the week.
Simpson Thacher and SullCrom blow Kirkland out of the water and both also pay spot rate NY salaries in London.

(1)(0)

Comments are closed.

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