Nabarro boosts NQ rates

Nabarro’s decision to increase salaries paid to its newly qualified (NQ) lawyers has reinforced the split that is emerging in the legal market in relation to associate pay.

Trainee solicitors qualifying in September 2011 and January 2012 can expect wages of £59,000 for their first year, a modest rise of £1,000 on last year’s amount.

Meanwhile, rates for associates with up to six years post qualification experience were raised by between three and 10 per cent. Junior and middle ranking associate salaries at Nabarro continue to be set by a performance-based system rather than salary bands.

As reported earlier this week City firms have been split on whether to increase their associate pay packets. Clifford Chance, for instance, followed rival magic circle rival Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s lead by announcing a small hike in associate pay (read more).

Allen & Overy and Linklaters, meanwhile, took a different approach, freezing pay bands but allowing band progression (16 May).

Nabarro plans to review trainee solicitor salaries later this year but said they are likely to be frozen.

First year trainees in the head office in London are currently paid £37,000 with their second year colleagues pocketing £40,000.

Trainees in the Sheffield office are set to continue to earn £25,000 in their first year and £28,000 in the second.