Exclusive: Newly qualified salaries at US giant hit the £100,000 mark
Weil Gotshal & Manges has revealed an early Christmas present for its newly qualified (NQ) lawyers in London, boosting pay to a cool £100,000, Legal Cheek can exclusively reveal.
The New York-headquartered outfit, that offers around 15 training contracts annually, has chucked its freshly minted lawyers a pay rise of over 3%, taking NQ pay packets from £97,000 to an eye-watering £100,000.
Trainees haven’t been forgotten either. Those starting out at the firm will see a whopping 12% pay increase, from £41,000 to £46,000. Meanwhile, those entering the second year of their training contracts will take home an extra £5,000 — an 11% rise — taking salaries up to £50,000.
According to Legal Cheek’s Most List, the generous pay boost sees the firm leapfrog fellow US outfits Kirkland & Ellis and Skadden in the remuneration table. Bringing the corporate powerhouse in line with Akin Gump and Davis Polk as members of law’s ‘100 Club’, the announcement further cements US pay dominance in the City.
Only two firms now offer junior lawyers more cash: Latham & Watkins, which boosted NQ pay packets to a staggering £101,000 earlier this year, and ‘white shoe’ stalwart Sullivan & Cromwell, which Legal Cheek exclusively revealed back in August was upping its junior lawyer pay to an astonishing £101,500, the highest anywhere in the City.
The announcement sees Weil Gotshal pull even further away from its nearest English competitor, Allen & Overy. The magic circle outfit — that offers its fresh-faced associates £78,500 — is now a massive £21,500 behind the US-powerhouse, despite upping pay packets by a quarter back in July.
The money being offered by Weil Gotshal’s senior management may be generous, but law students take note: US firms will expect you to work for that extra cash. So don’t make any evening plans. Ever.
The news follows a revelation back in September when Legal Cheek reported how someone claiming to be a Weil Gotshal solicitor was flogging training contract application advice for £45 an hour.
Hopefully this latest pay injection will stop the firm’s lawyers needing to work second jobs to make ends meet.