US firm that doesn’t offer TCs ups NQ pay to £99k in bid to net London’s best qualifying trainees

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By Alex Aldridge on

Quinn Emanuel puts money saved on training contracts towards associate pay


The London office of top US litigation boutique Quinn Emanuel has upped its newly qualified (NQ) solicitor salaries to £99,000 in a bid the snaffle the best of the capital’s rookie talent.

The move — which follows a host of pay rises at US firms in London — is notable because Quinn Emanuel doesn’t offer UK training contracts.

Instead it controversially chooses to piggy back on the expensive training given to hotshot law graduates by other City firms and bag the ready-trained youth at qualification point.

This marks Quinn out from the other major US firms in London, which offer training contracts — and indeed have been increasing their trainee numbers of late.

While these outfits also enjoy using stratospheric pay packages to poach freshly qualified magic circle talent, they at least shoulder the burden of training up some UK law students.

Quinn — which was on the receiving end of some negative coverage about reduced work flow and bizarre management edicts in US law bible Above the Law last year — is also raising remuneration for its more experienced associates.

Alongside the £2,000 pay rise for NQs, one year post qualification experience (PQE) solicitors get a £3,000 raise to £108,000, with the increases going all the way up to 5PQEs, who receive a £10k boost to reach £155,000.

The litigation-geared firm is led by eccentric US-based boss John Quinn — who in 2014 famously offered lawyers the chance to work London hours from anywhere in the world — and headed in the UK by Richard East.

On the topic of the firm putting its hands in its pockets to train some UK law graduates, East told Legal Cheek this morning:

No plan for training scheme. Given that we are a single practice firm I think running a training scheme would be difficult. But won’t rule it out.