Baker McKenzie, one of the world’s largest law firms by headcount, is matching a new associate salary scale as firms ramp up their competition for talent in a tight market.
The move, retroactive to Jan. 1, adds $10,000 to $20,000 in pay for lawyers with between one and eight years of experience. The raises bring salaries to $215,000 for first-year associates and $385,000 for eight-year veterans, according to a memo from the Chicago-headquarterd firm obtained by Bloomberg Law.
Big Law firms are expected to report a record year in 2021, driven by a boom in corporate dealmaking and financings. Baker McKenzie brought in $3.1 billion in revenue during its latest fiscal year, which ran through June. Revenue rose nearly 8% while profits were up more than 36%.
Milbank LLP kicked off the latest round of salary increases last week, with firm chairman Scott Edelman calling the bumps a reaction to a strong financial performance and a recognition of the work junior lawyers have done.
Associates at Big Law firms last year received record bonuses of as much as $115,000 or more for the hardest-working lawyers. Still, firms are struggling to tamp down record attrition rates, with nearly one in four associates leaving firms each year.