One of Britain’s most prominent in-house lawyers has said the “eye-watering sums” being paid out to newly qualified lawyers have gotten “out-of-control,” whilst claiming that solicitors on £150,000 salaries will burn out “before they hit 30.”
The comments come after New York headquartered law firm Milbank last week upped the stakes in the battle for fresh legal talent in offering its newly qualified lawyers $215,000 (£160,000) salaries.
Milbank’s offer was quickly matched by its New York rival Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, which also said it would pay out $215,000 salaries to newly qualified lawyers.
Today, Baker McKenzie matched Milbank’s offer in raising salaries for newly qualified associates in its US offices to $215,000. Baker McKenzie’s pay hike comes after the Chicago headquartered law firm posted record revenues of $3.1 bn in 2021.
In a post on Linkedin, Dan Kayne, general counsel for Network Rail, said “throwing money” at new lawyers is simply putting a “sticking plaster” on the law sector’s recruitment crisis, as he called on the industry to “find new ways of attracting, retaining, rewarding, and recognising the ‘best’ talent.”