Every magic circle law firm is now paying their newly qualified (NQ) lawyers a £125,000 salary a year, after Slaughter and May matched this figure last week.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Clifford Chance were first out of the magic circle to hit £125,000, after they both boosted its NQ pay May 2022. Previously, Freshfields were paying £100,000 while Clifford Chance previous figure was £107,500.
It was expected that the others would follow behind but it took a year for the rest to drip though. Linklaters and Allen & Overy each increase to match its counterparts this May, up from £107,500.
It was only last week that the last member of the magic circle, Slaughter and May, joined the £125,000 salary bracket after it bumpped up from £115,000.
As a comparison, a US firm in the City increased its NQ salary earlier this month to the highest amount recorded. According to Legal Cheek, Milbank raised its NQ salary to $225,000 (£183,000), up from $215,000.
Speaking to City A.M. Christopher Clark, director at Definitum Search said: “Having not moved from 2007 to 2016, NQ salaries at US firms have gone up five times including Milkbank’s recent move to $225,000. Magic circle firms have always lagged 30 per cent off the top US firms, so I wouldn’t be surprised if all top US firms match Milbank, if not higher still.”