Weil Gotshal & Manges has become the latest firm to lift its salary freeze for London-based associates.
The US firm has also offered associates a 4 per cent pay hike, although the majority of salary bands remain slightly below 2008 levels.
Last July, Weil announced that it would slash associate salaries by 5.6 per cent (8 July 2009) and that lawyers would not move through the pay bands as normal but would be held at the previous year’s level.
The latest move means that newly qualified (NQ) lawyers will receive £90,000, up from £85,000 last year but the same as 2008’s rate.
Associates with one year’s post-qualification experience (PQE) will take home between £90,000-95,950 while two year PQEs will receive £93,600-£101,900.
A top-earning six-year PQE associate at the firm will now earn £156,950, up from £150,900 last year but still below the £162,600 pulled in by top earners in 2008.
Head of HR Thea Gaunt said: “It’s following the market. We want to keep the good people we have here so we felt the need to do this.
“Headhunters and recruiters tell us that the market’s picking up more and our associates are aware of that.”
Other US firms, including Latham & Watkins (5 January 2010), have already announced that they have unfrozen salaries after halting pay rises in 2009.