Baker McKenzie Increases Associate Salary Pay

Baker McKenzie Increases Associate Salary Pay 2

Baker McKenzie has matched the big lift in associate salaries by adding $10,000 to the $20,000 paid to lawyers in the one-year to eight-year experience level.

The lift follows the ongoing rise in biglaw associate pay levels, pushing the payments to their highest level.

The Baker McKenzie move is backdated to January 1.  First year associates will receive salaries of up to $215,000 for first-year associates and $385,000 for eight-year associates at the firm.

Bloombergs report that the biglaw firms are expected to report a record year in 2021, driven by a boom in corporate dealmaking and financings.

Baker McKenzie earned $3.1 billion in revenues during its latest fiscal year, which ran through June. Revenue rose nearly 8 per cent while profits were up more than 36 per cent.

As LawFuel reported, Milbank LLP started the last round of law firm salary increases with their 200k pay rates for Associates in June with Milbank chairman Scott Edelman calling the salary increases were a reaction to a strong financial performance and a recognition of the work junior lawyers have done.

A number of firms followed the lead in the unreasoningly competitive market, including that said they’d match the new scale include Goodwin Procter, Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, McDermott Will & Emery and Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson.

The problem for biglaw associates and the rising pay scale is that it does not necessarily greatly reduce the issue of firms reducing the number of associates leaving firms due to the increasing number of associates leaving firm with the high stress levels.

The LawFuel law jobs blog reported on the problem of lawyers leaving due to stress with reports from the UK indicate that job vacancies are rising rapidly and law firms have advertised for 2300 jobs for law associates in London alone  but every firm is seeking the same people and the result is a shortage of permanent legal staff.

According to data from recruiter BCL Legal and labour market analytics group Vacancysoft, the numbers have shown a 131 per cent increase on 2020 numbers.

However the problem is the same in other jurisdictions.  In the US, as Bloomberg Law have reported, in the last year or so, people have been doing just that—more or less.

According to the U.S. Labor Department, a staggering 4.4 million quit their jobs in September. And Harvard Business Review reports that employees between the ages of 30 and 45 saw the largest jump in resignation rates, with an average increase of more than 20% between 2020 and 2021.


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