Newly qualified (NQ) lawyers at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer will now be paid £100,000 per year, as the firm becomes the latest to boost London rates in competition with US-based international firms.  

The firm announced today that the new rates will take effect from 1 May. ‘Our pay offering is a critical part of our talent strategy and reflects our continued commitment to attracting and retaining the very best talent in the legal market. We regularly review our compensation and benefits across the firm with this in mind,’ the firm said.

Previously the firm paid its NQs £85,000. Pay for trainees remains unchanged at £45,000 in their first year, rising to £51,000 in year two. The firm offers around 80 training contracts each year.

The rest of the magic circle is yet to reach £100,000 to NQs. Clifford Chance pays just over £90,000 while Linklaters, Allen & Overy and Slaughter and May all offer £83,000.

However, the new package is not yet on par with remuneration offered by some US firms over the past few years. 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.