Pay wars are nothing new in the U.K. legal industry, with newly-qualified salaries edging ever higher over the last decade, but senior lawyers now believe the battleground is shifting. Diversity policies and numbers, they say, has become equally as important for graduate recruits.

James Stebbing, general counsel for the Six Nations Rugby and the British & Irish Lions believes that especially for the largest firms, the “starting gun has been fired” and law firm diversity and inclusion policies are now “almost analogous to NQ salaries” in terms of recruitment kudos.