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Norton Rose Fulbright ups NQ base salaries 12% to £95k

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‘Total cash’ can reach £133k with bonus, says firm

Norton Rose Fulbright’s London office

Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) has joined the war for junior lawyer talent with a revamped “compensation strategy” that will see its newly qualified (NQ) associates earn at least £95,000 a year.

The move equates to an extra £10,000 or 12%, with NQ base rates previously pegged at £85,000.

NRF says for those NQs who hit targets of 1,800 hours and above, “total cash compensation” will be £107,500, rising to a maximum of £133,000. The uplift takes effect from 1 January 2022.

The Legal Cheek 2022 Firms Most List shows the £95,000 base salary matches that on offer at Mayer Brown and is £5k above the £90,000 dished out by the likes of Ashurst, Baker McKenzie and Macfarlanes.

The salary uplift comes a little over a year since the firm opted to cut NQ rates by 6%, from £87,500 to £82,500, in a bid to curb the financial impact of the pandemic. Some nine months later it increased rates by 3% to £85,000 — a figure which fell short of the firm’s pre-Covid NQ base rate.

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Separately, NRF has made a series of tweaks to the types of activities that can count towards billable hour targets. In addition to knowledge, pro bono, diversity & inclusion, and CSR activities, time spent on innovation initiatives that “improve the client experience and service delivery” will also now count. It has also increased the time that can be spent on these activities from 100 to 125 hours.

Peter Scott, NRF’s managing partner in Europe, Middle East and Asia, commented: “We are committed to incentivising and rewarding high performance, which for us is about our people working smarter and not just harder. That’s why we’re focusing on encouraging and recognising innovation.”

He added:

“We will be crediting our people who spend time redesigning how we work, using technology and process to deliver more effective and efficient solutions for our clients. This approach also means our associates can focus on strategic and complex matters to support their professional development, our clients and our business.”

The 2022 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

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