Linklaters has tightened the belt on NQ salaries, mirroring similar decisions at Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy.

The firm held long discussions before reaching the decision, which have now led to a reduction of its base compensation plus annual bonus from £100,000 to £90,000. The figure can become higher with extra bonuses, with the 10 per cent cut taking effect from September.

A spokesperson for the firm said in a statement: “Effective from September, our newly qualified lawyers will receive a salary of £90,000 per annum, plus a discretionary performance related bonus.”

The Lawyer understands that trainee salaries have not been altered.

This means Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer remains the only magic circle firm to keep its 2019 £100,000 rise.

Allen & Overy was the first firm to drop NQ salaries too from a minimum of £100,000 to £90,000. Clifford Chance followed, backtracking on the £100,000 package that was offered by the biggest City outfits last year. The firm cut its offering by 5 and a half per cent to £94,500. It had, in 2019, raised its salary for newly-qualified solicitors from £91,000 to £100,000, following the lead of Freshfields in a trend that saw other big players doing the same.

Unlike Freshfields, however, the £100,000 paid by Clifford Chance was its total compensation package, including bonuses, rather than base salary.

Allen & Overy was the first magic circle firm to drop NQ salaries from a minimum of £100,000 to £90,000.

In spite of the current economic headwinds, The Lawyer reported that  Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) are both expecting to pay their NQs at the same rate as last year, with Freshfields understood to be maintaining its £100,000 package (plus bonus) and HSF also sticking to its salary meaning NQs could pick up a high of £105,000.