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05 October 2016

NQ pay increases at Baker & McKenzie and Kirkland & Ellis

Baker & McKenzie's London office has upped the salaries of its NQ lawyers to £72,000, while at Kirkland & Ellis London NQ pay packets swell to over £140,000 as the pound tanks.

By Victoria Basham

The increase of £2,000 at Baker & McKenzie equates to a slightly underwhelming pay boost of just 3 per cent, but is the second time the firm has raised NQ pay this year – back in March, Bakers upped junior lawyer salaries by 8 per cent to £70,000.


The firm has is also throwing extra money at its trainees. Those in their first year of one of the 30 training contracts offered by the firm each year will now earn £45,000, up from £42,000 (an increase of 7 per cent). Meanwhile, those a year ahead will take home £49,000, up from £46,000, which also equates to a rise of 7 per cent.

Late last month, Bakers announced up a 2016 autumn retention figure of 88 per cent.


Beginning with Cravath, Swaine & Moore, a number US firms upped their NQ pay earlier this summer and some, including Kirkland & Ellis, extended this increase to their London lawyers. But, crucially, only Kirkland pegged its increase against the dollar. With the the pound hitting a 31 year low against the dollar, Kirkland & Ellis’ London-based NQ lawyers have rocketed to an incredible £140,000. The figure represents a 13 per cent increase from a June’s £124,000.

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