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

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By Thomas Connelly on


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

Magic circle player Linklaters has told its junior lawyers it won’t “rush” into matching the salaries offered by some of its closest rivals, Legal Cheek can reveal.

In an email (in full below) circulated to associates last week, Links said that whilst it recognised “that our NQ salaries are below those of some our competitors, we do not believe that the right course of action is to rush into matching salaries at NQ level without properly considering the impact of any changes and the wider economic context”.

This, the email continues, “includes understanding how any changes would be applied across all PQE levels (including counsel and knowledge lawyers) and taking stock of whether the bonus continues to work most effectively”.

Links says it will be exploring the issues around pay over the coming weeks and encourages associates to come forward if they “have any views”.

The 2022 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Linklaters has been approached for comment.

News of the cautious approach comes just a day after Allen & Overy told junior lawyers they would be missing out on pay rises — for now — due to what the firm described as “challenging” economic conditions.

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2022 shows Allen & Overy and Linklaters‘ NQ rates currently sit at £107,500, while Clifford Chance and Freshfields both dish out £125,000 following pay increases earlier this year. Slaughter and May, meanwhile, provides its most junior lawyers a salary of £115,000 thanks to an uplift in April.

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