The battle for junior talent has started up again after a brief lockdown hiatus, with City firms boosting the salaries of newly-qualified solicitors.

London NQs at New York head-quartered Shearman & Sterling will now receive £135,000, up from £120,000, while solicitors with one year of post-qualified experience (PQE) will be paid £145,000, 18% more than before. More experienced lawyers have enjoyed 19% pay rises, with two and three-year PQE associates receiving £155,000 and £165,000 respectively.

Meanwhile, Linklaters has boosted NQ pay from £90,000 to £92,500 plus a discretionary performance bonus. Like many of its City peers, Linklaters reduced NQ pay when the pandemic hit, following a pay battle the previous summer in which all the magic firms increased their salary and bonus packages to a minimum of £100,000.

Slaughter and May confirmed today that eligible associates will move through the PQE salary scales on 1 May 2021.

‘This follows our earlier decision to increase most PQE salary scales with effect from 1 January 2021, while also moving eligible associates through the scales,' the firm said. 'We have additionally conducted a full salary review for other areas of the firm, including senior counsel, business services employees, PSLs, executive assistants and document specialists.'

It was reported earlier this year that Slaughter and May had upped the salaries of its NQs from £87,000 to £90,500.