Lawyer salary

Simpson Thacher raises fees for NQ solicitors in London to £170,000

£12,000 increase 📈

US firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (STB) has handed its Newly Qualified (NQ) solicitors an extra £12,000 as the City Law wage war continues despite some Magic Circle firms’ more cautious approach.

According to an email seen by legal cheek.

Those higher up the ladder are also cashing in. The US firm’s one-year PQEs will now fetch £178,000, while 2-PQEs will fetch £198,000 and 3-PQEs close to a quarter of a million at £233,000, the email said. Further up the ranks, four-year-old PQEs will now receive £273,000 and salaries for seven-year-old PQEs have risen from just under £300,000 to £328,000.

This marks the continuation of salary increases for junior lawyers at STB after increases in early 2022.

The STB has been approached for comments.

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Over the summer, the Magic Circle broke ranks on wages, with Linklaters and Allen & Overy maintaining NQ’s salary at £107,500.

A&O cited “difficult” economic conditions as the reason for blocking NQ salary increases, while Linklaters told its junior lawyers: “we don’t think the right course of action is to rush to match salaries to the NQ level without properly considering the impact of any changes and the wider economic context”.

That hasn’t stopped NQ pay rises elsewhere, however. Herbert Smith Freehills were quick to overtake the majority of the Magic Circle with a new and improved £120,000 NQ payout package.