Linklaters has become the first magic circle firm to break the £50,000 benchmark for newly qualifieds’ (NQ) salaries.
The firm is upping new lawyers’ pay-packets to £51,000, which is part of a firmwide 2 per cent increase in all lawyers' salaries.
For example trainees will now be paid £29,100. The increases affect all lawyers bar salaried, or "national" partners and members of the equity.
Simon Firth, training partner at Linklaters said: "It is reflective of increased optimism in the market."
Though he admits: "The optimism has not yet translated into a significant increase in work."
The move pushes Linklaters’ NQ rates past Clifford Chance's which last week announced it would return newly qualifieds’ pay to £50,000, in-line with the rest of the magic circle, after it briefly cut salaries to £48,000.
Clifford Chance also increased trainees’ rates to £29,000 on a previous £28,500.