Denton Wilde Sapte (DWS) is the latest firm to announce salary increases, with a 17 per cent rise for newly qualified (NQ) lawyers.
NQs will now be paid £62,000, up from £53,000, while first-year trainees have received a 20 per cent rise, from £30,000 to £36,000.
The move comes after City firms announced dramatic hikes earlier this year, with Clifford Chance kicking off the salary war with a 15 per cent increase in April.
A DWS spokesman said: “It’s of course important to keep with the market. You can’t ignore what everyone else is doing. For a mid-market firm such as ours it is not necessary for us to pay too much attention to what firms such as Clifford Chance are doing.”
Linklaters also entered the salary war in April, hiking its salaries for one-year PQEs by 14 per cent to £69,000, and two years’ PQE salaries by 15 per cent to £81,000.
NQ pay at magic circle firm Allen & Overy is now at £64,900 after its average 18 per cent increase for associates with up to five years’ experience.
The DWS spokesperson said: “Salaries are obviously very important, but we also want to be sure that there are other qualities for us to be confident about at the firm. We want to offer people a good quality of working life at DWS.”