Now a sixth law firm is paying its newly qualified solicitors £100k

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By Alex Aldridge on

London office of Texas-based Vinson & Elkins joins the ‘100 club’

The oil price may be plunging, but salaries for young lawyers at the London office of a big Texan energy-focused law firm are surging upwards.

Today Vinson & Elkins announced that it would be raising newly qualified (NQ) solicitors pay by a whopping 25% from £80,000 to £100,000.

Pay is also up at first year trainee level (from £45,000 to £47,500) and for one and two year qualified associates — whose wages have jumped to £110,000 and £120,000 respectively.

But the NQ money hike is what will get the market talking. Significantly, it takes Vinson & Elkins — which has 15 offices worldwide — into the illustrious ‘100 club’ of law firms which pay their London NQs six figure salaries.

The other members of this elite group also all hail from across the Atlantic. They are Sullivan & Cromwell (NQ salary: £101.5k), Latham & Watkins (£101k), Akin Gump (£100k), Davis Polk (£100k) and Weil Gotshal & Manges (£100k).

But beware wannabe lawyers with a thirst for instant wealth, most of these firms don’t offer many training contracts in London — and Vinson & Elkins has so few positions (the firm makes available just three TCs annually) that it doesn’t even make the Legal Cheek Most List.

Still, the competition posed by the increasingly blingy US contingent could affect the rest of the sector. Expect the global elite and magic circle firms to be reviewing their salaries in the new year.


Weil Gotshal joins ‘100 Club’ with Christmas pay boost for junior lawyers [Legal Cheek]