A new associate pay war, Germany cutbacks and banks braced for Brexit - the best of Legal Week this week

The best news, interviews and analysis from Legal Week during the past week

UK associates have always been able to make more money by joining a US firm’s London office, but the new £105,000 benchmark for newly qualified (NQ) lawyers at White & Case and Shearman & Sterling raises fresh questions about how UK firms will be able to compete for top talent.

Announced just ahead of the leading UK firms confirming their own 2017 associate salary rates, the new NQ rate is a full 20% higher in base salary alone than what is on offer at most UK counterparts. Banding systems and combined pay and bonuses mean rates across the magic circle are harder to compare than at most US firms, but Clifford Chance, for example, last year pushed NQ rates up to £85,000 including bonus.

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