New York headquartered law firm Milbank is set to pay its newly qualified (NQ) associates $215,000 (£160,000), as the battle for fresh legal talent rages on into 2022.
According to a memo seen by City A.M. newly qualified lawyers in Milbank’s London, Sao Paulo, US and Asia offices will receive a $10,000 pay boost and see their salaries upped to $215,000 a year.
Milbank’s offer was quickly matched by its New York rival Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, which said it would meet Milbank at $215,000 .
In the battle for legal talent, New York law firm Shearman & Sterling also said last week that it would give out $25,000 bonuses to staff and former staff who refer new hires.
Milbank’s decision to boost pay for newly qualified lawyers comes after the firm posted record results last year, due to soaring demand for its restructuring services caused by the economic impacts of Covid-19.
Last week, Cleveland based law firm Squire Patton Boggs raised NQ salaries to £85,000 a year, while London-based law firms Fieldfisher and Clyde & Co raised NQ salaries to £85,000 and £80,000 respectively.
The pay rises come as US law firms have led the battle for new legal talent, in driving up salaries for trainee and newly qualified lawyers.
In July last year, Texan law firm Vinson & Elkins raised its NQ’s salaries to a record £153,000 a year, while Boston-based law firm Ropes & Gray upped its pay outs to heights of £147,000.