Firms continue to increase NQ and trainee salaries

updated on 17 December 2021

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Baker McKenzie and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) have become the latest firms to announce increases in trainee and newly-qualified (NQ) lawyer salaries, as firms continue to battle it out in the pay war.

BCLP’s London-based first-year trainee salaries will jump from £44,000 to £48,000, with second-year trainee salaries bumped to £52,000, effective from February 2022. Meanwhile, the firm has adjusted the salaries for its London-based NQ lawyers to £95,000, effective from January 2022.

In Manchester, BCLP’s first-year and second-year trainees will be paid £30,000 and £35,000, respectively, from February 2022, while the firm’s Manchester-based NQ lawyers will receive a £1,000 increase to £51,000.

The international law firm has also revealed that it will be raising the bonus eligibility thresholds for the bonus year that has just started.

Segun Osuntokun, partner-in-charge UK said: “The compensation adjustments form part of a broad ongoing program of investment in our business and in our most important asset - our people.”

Multinational firm Baker McKenzie has also revealed plans to bump NQ and trainee salaries as part of its commitment to the attraction, retention and development of its talent. The firm’s NQs will receive a salary increase from £90,000 to £105,000, which will come into effect in March 2022. First-year and second-year trainees will also see an increase in pay from March 2022 to £50,000 and £55,000, respectively.

The firm’s salary review period, which usually takes places in July, has been moved to March next year, with a discretionary bonus also available to all fee earners. The firm’s bonus scheme works on a merit-based system and is designed to reward the highest performing individuals at the firm.

Ed Poulton, Baker McKenzie’s managing partner in London said: "As a firm, we remain committed to the attraction and retention of the very best talent. Aside from competitive remuneration, we are proud of the opportunities and inclusive culture Baker McKenzie can offer which includes enhanced wellbeing, a dedication to inclusion and diversity and brilliant career opportunities, all of which makes our firm an attractive place to work. We want people to be able to develop and achieve their full potential here.”

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