White & Case ups NQ solicitor pay to £130k — a boost of £25k

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By Thomas Connelly on

Trainees and associates also handed sizeable rises

White & Case has upped the salaries of its newly qualified (NQ) lawyers by a whopping £25,000.

Despite the financial uncertainty the coronavirus pandemic has brought upon City law, the US giant confirmed its London lot will now start lawyer life on £130,000 — an uplift of 24% from £105,000.

Legal Cheek‘s 2021 Firms Most List shows the new six-figure sum puts White & Case juniors on a pay par with their peers at fellow US outfit Ropes & Gray.

The firm, which offers around 50 training contracts each year, has also upped pay for trainees. First years will earn £50,000, up from £48,000, while second years will receive £55,000, up from £53,000. The rises are effective from 1 January 2021.

A spokesperson for the firm said: “White & Case is an elite global law firm which offers careers that are highly attractive to lawyers in London — the challenges of working globally on market leading matters and cases, enjoying promotion opportunities and the benefits of the wide range of practices we have here.”

The 2021 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

They continued:

“Following discussions with partners, we are increasing legal salaries in London, including for trainees. The salary increases, which are effective from 1 January 2021, are another demonstration of our position as a leading law firm globally and in the City.”

Those further up the ladder are also cashing in. Lawyers with one year post-qualification experience (PQE) will earn a salary of £137,500, a rise of 25% from £110,000, while two-year PQE associates will see pay move from £120,000 to £150,000 — an extra £30,000 or 25%. Increases for those between three to nine year PQE will be on a “discretionary” basis, according to the firm.

Legal Cheek reported in July that White & Case had opted to keep NQ salaries steady despite many of its City rivals, including members of the elite magic circle, opting to cut pay in response to COVID-19.

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