US/UK firm pay gap widens

Never has the gap between rich and poor been so stark – among lawyers, that is. NQ salaries can differ by as much as 368 per cent, it seems.

According to Hays Legal Salary Guide, NQs in the London office of a US firm can bring home as much as £103,000 a year, while for NQs toiling away in the East Midlands, the east of England or in Wales a measly £22,000 is the reward they can expect to reap for their toil.

The maximum annual 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 the NQ haul of an American in London.

In a similar vein, the most a seven years’ PQE associate will take home at a large City firm is £125,000, while their swanky rival at a US firm’s London office could be remunerated to the tune of £185,000 – a chasm of a mighty 48 per cent.

Poor lawyers, salary is clearly important to you – 64 per cent of respondents to the survey cited salary as the most important factor when choosing a new job.

You don’t, however, seem to have much time for life outside the office, with just 9 per cent citing a better work-life balance as a key reason for exploring pastures new.

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

Noses to the grindstone, people. Now, that’s a tough break.