Magic circle firm Slaughter and May has upped its starting salary for newly qualified (NQ) solicitors to a minimum of £100,000.

The firm previously paid new associates £83,000 but has increased its pay package in order to stay ‘competitive in the market’.

The firm announced: ‘In accordance with our policy of keeping our associate remuneration competitive in the market, we have decided to increase our newly qualified associates’ remuneration (salary and bonus) to a minimum of £100,000.

‘We continue to value and recognise everyone’s contribution by rewarding our associates in a way that reflects the partnership’s flat lockstep structure and by not imposing billing or time recording targets.’

Magic circle firms are increasingly in competition with US firms, which are keen to attract UK talent. Akin Gump, Kirkland & Ellis, Latham & Watkins and Debevoise & Plimpton all offer £143,000 to first-year lawyers, while Davis Polk & Wardwell and Sidley Austin both offer in excess of £100,000.

Starting salaries for NQs at Allen & Overy and Linklaters now trail behind the other magic circle firms, at £83,000.