Slaughter and May has increased pay for its NQs after cutting salaries last year, though the figure is still lightly lower than pre-pandemic levels.

NQ pay will now total £90,500.

The increase does not match pre-pandemic levels when the base salary was at £92,000.

In May, at the onset of the pandemic, the firm had docked pay by £5,000.

Slaughters added that from March 2021, its first-year trainee salaries will be £47,000 and second year trainee salaries will be £52,500.

Current rates are £45,000 for first years, and £51,000 for those in their second year.

The firm said that it has also increased most PQE salary scales, with the exact percentage uplift varying by qualification level.

Other firms have started restoring NQ salaries to pre-pandemic rates, including Clifford Chance. The magic circle firm returned to its £100,000 rate, after cutting it by 5 and a half per cent last June to £94,000. Allen & Overy raised its NQ salaries from the previous cut that had lowered them to £90,000 to a restored £95,000.

In November, Hogan Lovells, too, went back to paying 100 per cent of salaries for NQ lawyers, after they were reduced in the summer as part of cost-cutting measures. NQ salaries were reinstated to £90,000 for London NQs and £48,000 for NQs in Birmingham.