Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has increased its newly-qualified (NQ) compensation package, with a maximum £105,000 available to top performers

The salary rise, which took effect as of 1 June, puts HSF in line with the magic circle firms, all of which have increased their NQ pay to at least £100,000.

Partner Ian Cox said: “It is important that we continue to attract and retain the best talent to deliver the service our clients expect and deserve. Newly-qualified associates – along with all our junior associates – represent a key pool of talent and the future of the firm. We are determined to nurture their talents and help them realise their full potential at HSF, and to reward them competitively while doing so.”

Linklaters became the last magic circle firm to increase its pay for NQs, announcing it had yesterday at the same time as Macfarlanes also posted a pay increase.

Macfarlanes’ and HSF’s moves along with that of Hogan Lovells, which has also boosted NQ pay significantly, demonstrate that the latest round of salary wars has now moved beyond the magic circle, and will put pressure on other large City institutions to look at their compensation packages.

Base salary Total possible compensation
Allen & Overy Not given £100,000
Clifford Chance Not given £100,000
Freshfields £100,000 plus bonus
Herbert Smith Freehills Not given £105,000
Hogan Lovells £90,000 £117,000
Linklaters Not given £100,000
Macfarlanes £85,000 £98,600-£110,250
Slaughter and May Not given £100,000