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Law firms prepared to pay top price for talent

23 Apr 2007

Law firms prepared to pay top price for talent Good news for law students - almost all the top UK law firms are increasing salaries for new starters.

As Legal Week reports, the famous "magic circle" firms are battling it out to recruit the top new graduates and a full-scale pay war is looking increasingly likely.

Linklaters, already the market leader in UK assistant pay, has boosted salaries by around 16 per cent and overtaken rivals Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance. Newly-qualified lawyers with the firm can now expect to earn a staggering £64,000.

Tim Jones, the London corporate head of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, another magic circle firm, acknowledges: "We are all in the market for talent, which is a scarce resource. We must pay well and our total compensation packages have got to be competitive."

On top of salaries, big annual bonuses are also become more common at top City firms. At Allen & Overy a bonus can take the annual pay packet of a two-year-qualified associate's pay up to £104,500.

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