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Linklaters joins magic circle rivals in upping NQ lawyer pay to £100k

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New base rate follows similar rises by Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy

Magic circle outfit Linklaters has upped the salaries of its newly qualified (NQ) lawyers in London to £100,000, following similar moves by some of its elite UK-headquartered rivals.

The firm’s new associates will now earn a base rate of £100,000, plus a discretionary bonus, up from a previous figure of £92,500.

The money move matches those recently announced by Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy, and means Slaughter and May is now the only member of the magic circle not to provide a six-figure base rate to NQs (£90,500). Taking an early lead, Freshfields boosted junior lawyer pay packets to £100k in the summer of 2019.

Legal Cheek‘s Firms Most List shows Links dishes out around 100 TCs annually, the highest of any other City outfit, and offers trainees a salary of £50,000 in year one, rising to £55,000 in year two.

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A host of firms have upped their cash offerings in recent weeks. Ashurst and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner bumped junior lawyer pay to £90,000 and £88,000, respectively, while Eversheds Sutherland raised rates to £82,000. Elsewhere, Pinsent Masons boosted pay in London to £75,000.

US firms in London have been fighting a pay war too, with some young associates now trousering northwards of £145,000 upon qualification.

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