US/UK firms’ pay gap widens

As the gap between society’s rich and poor widens, junior lawyers are also suffering, with newly-qualified (NQ) salaries differing by as much as 368 per cent.

As the gap between society’s rich and poor widens, junior lawyers are also suffering, with newly-qualified (NQ) salaries differing by as much as 368 per cent.

According to the recent Hays Legal Salary Guide, NQs in the London office of a US firm can bring home as much as £103,000 a year, while an NQ toiling away in the East Midlands, East of England or Wales gets a measly £22,000.

The maximum pay cheque for an NQ at a large City firm is £67,000 while a City associate has to rack up four years post-qualification experience (PQE) to equal a US firm in London’s NQ salary.

Similarly, the most a seven-year PQE associate will take home at a large City firm is £125,000, while their peers at a US firm can be remunerated to the tune of £185,000, a gap of 48 percentage points.

Poor lawyers. While money is clearly important to them – 64 per cent of respondents cited salary as the most important factor when choosing a new job – they do not, however, seem to have much time for life outside the office, with just 9 per cent citing work/life balance as a key reason for moving.

What’s more, Hays claims, the majority of employers expect to see workloads increase over the next 12 months but do not plan to add to their workforce or boost salaries. Nose to the grindstone people.