Exclusive: Linklaters decides against upping NQ lawyer pay — for now

Avatar photo

By Thomas Connelly on


Magic circle firm stresses pay remains under review

Linklaters has taken the decision not to increase salaries for newly qualified (NQ) associates — for now.

In an email circulated yesterday and seen by Legal Cheek, the magic circle player’s trainee development team informed rookies that a “decision had been made not to increase [NQ rates]” and as far as it is aware, “there isn’t a plan to revisit this decision”.

But a spokesperson for the firm told Legal Cheek: “It is not correct that a decision has been made regarding salaries. As had been communicated internally, we are continuing to review the position.”

The news comes just two weeks after Legal Cheek revealed that the firm — which recruits around 100 trainees each year, the highest intake of any City outfit — had told its young lawyers that it wouldn’t “rush” into matching the salaries offered by some of its closest rivals, “without properly considering the impact of any changes and the wider economic context”.

The 2022 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Trainees are advised “to go directly to their group leader” and “ask whether NQ salaries will be revisited”. The leaders, according to the email, “will have more weight to bring this to senior leadership”.

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2022 shows Linklaters and Allen & Overy currently pay NQs £107,500, with the latter confirming earlier this month that it wouldn’t be increasing pay due to “challenging” economic conditions. Clifford Chance and Freshfields both dish out £125,000 following pay increases earlier this year, while Slaughter and May provides its most junior lawyers a salary of £115,000 thanks to an uplift in April.

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek's careers events:

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub

Related Stories

Exclusive: We won’t ‘rush’ to increase NQ pay, Linklaters tells lawyers

Magic circle player to consider 'impact of any changes and the wider economic context' before matching rivals, internal email reveals

Jul 1 2022 10:10am

Linklaters kicks off spring retention season with 94% result

49 out of 52 NQs to stay put

Jan 17 2022 2:06pm