Baker McKenzie has given newly qualified (NQ) lawyers in its London offices £5,000 pay rises after upping their salaries to £110,000 a year.
The Chicago headquartered law firm said its freshly trained lawyers will see their base pay surge to heights of £110,000 plus bonuses.
The pay hikes mean Baker McKenzie’s trainees will now see their salaries double after qualifying, from rates of £50,000 in their first year of training and £55,000 in their second, to £110,000.
The salary increases put Baker McKenzie’s salaries ahead of those offered by firms at the bottom end of the Magic Circle pay scale, including Linklaters and Allen & Overy, which currently offer their NQ’s salaries of £107,500 a year.
The hikes come in the midst of fierce competition for legal talent that has seen London’s law firms offer NQ salaries of up to £179,000 a year.
The plummeting value of the UK’s currency, in comparison to the US dollar, has also pushed up salaries in the City, due to the fact that the salaries of many lawyers working in American law firms’ London offices are calculated using US scales.
The recent influx of high paying US law firms into the London legal market has also put mounting pressure on UK law firms to offer higher salaries, in their efforts to recruit and retain top talent.
Baker McKenzie’s London managing partner Ed Poulton said: “The attraction, retention and development of our people is key to the success of our firm and is at the heart of our strategy.”
The law firm’s pay rises come as a sign the City of London’s legal talent bidding war is set to continue in coming months, despite rising prices, economic uncertainty, and plummeting stocks.