Linklaters is not looking to raise its newly-qualified solicitor pay imminently, it told its London associates in an email in June, while Herbert Smith Freehills has opted to raise its rate.
Linklaters currently pays out £107,500 to its NQ lawyers, a rate which it set in September 2021.
In an email to its London associates, counsel and knowledge lawyers in June, the firm said “we do not believe that the right course of action is to rush into matching salaries at NQ level without properly considering the impact of any changes and the wider economic context”.
This follows a similar move made by rival Allen & Overy, who on Thursday said it would not raise its NQ rates currently, citing the “more challenging business environment” as a factor for the decision.
Meanwhile, HSF has increased its NQ rate to £120,000, up from £105,000, a spokesperson said on Friday. The firm last raised its NQ pay in December 2021.
HSF executive partner, Alison Brown, said in a statement: “It is key that we continue to attract the very best talent. We also want to recognise high-performing lawyers at all levels, so prioritising fairness and equity across the whole associate population is key for us.”
Meanwhile, a London Linklaters associate praised the firm’s transparency and said they get the impression that some associates “don’t care about NQ pay” as much anymore, and said the pause in raising rates by the firm is a “good trend for the market”.
However, they said the obvious counterargument to this is that “pay growth will be flatter as [lawyers] progress” in their careers.
The decision is in contrast to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Clifford Chance, which upped their base NQ rate to £125,000 in April and May respectively.
In 2019, former Linklaters managing partner Gideon Moore expressed the firm’s frustration with the industry’s pay war
The news was first reported by Legal Cheek.