London law firm Mishcon de Reya has given its newly qualified (NQ) lawyers an eight per cent pay rise, after upping their salaries from £83,000 to £90,000.
The pay hike leaves Mishcon lagging behind its Silver Circle rivals, including Ashurst and Herbert Smith Freehills, who both pay NQs salaries of £105,000 a year
In a statement, a Mishcon spokesperson said: “We keep compensation under constant review at Mishcon de Reya and, in this particularly buoyant market, want to ensure that we do all that we can to attract the best talent and to reward our people for their continued contribution to our firm.”
The hikes come as the legal talent pay war continues, in the face of a scarcity of legal talent, booming demand for legal services, and the salary boosting impacts of high-paying American firms.
The ongoing battle has seen major US firms offer their London NQs salaries of up to £160,000 a year, with London’s prestigious Magic Circle offering between £107,500 and £115,000 to their freshly trained staff, according to figures from Legal Cheek.
The eye-watering salaries being handed out to NQs have however faced criticism from those claiming such fresh lawyers are not worth the bumper salaries being paid.
Others have argued law firms are placing impossible expectations on their NQs in seeking to justify the six figure payouts being given.
Founded by Labour politician Victor Mishcon in 1937, Mishcon de Reya came to prominence after acting on behalf of Princess Diana during her divorce from Prince Charles, and for Deborah Lipstadt during her libel case against David Irving.