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Allen & Overy ups London-based US NQ lawyer pay packets to £124,000

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MoneyLaw reaches the City’s magic circle

Money

Elite magic circle outfit Allen & Overy has today revealed that a number of US newly-qualified (NQ) lawyers within its London office will pocket a staggering £124,000 a year.

The international giant — which offers around 90 UK training contracts annually — revealed that a handful of freshly minted lawyers based within its City office will receive the new six figure “Cravath pay level”.

London-based US NQs will now — like their counterparts across the pond — pocket a whopping “base salary” of $180,000 (£124,000). With a London NQ currently walking away with very competitive £78,500, this still puts the fresh-faced US lawyers on £45,500 more, despite working out of the same office.

The incredible move comes as MoneyLaw mania continues to sweep the US.

Earlier this month New York giant Cravath, Swaine & Moore took the lead, hiking starting salaries from $160,000 (£110,000) to $180,000 (£124,000). Since then many of the top legal players in the US have followed suit, happily flashing the cash in order to attract and retain the top legal talent.

However a handful of firms have also been generous enough to chuck the pay increases at their US associates based in the City.

Akin Gump, Kirkland & Ellis, Cadwalader, Latham & Watkins, Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, Davis Polk and Simpson Thacher have all upped City-working US NQ pay packets to the coveted Cravath-level of £124,000.

In terms of the magic circle, Allen & Overy now joins both Clifford Chance and Freshfields in upping US pay packets. With Slaughter and May not having a US office, the only firm yet to unveil a massive pay boost is Linklaters.

With a huge pay divide emerging internally across the magic circle, it won’t take long for the firm’s young legal talent to question why the US NQ across the office is pocketing almost £50,000 more.

As Notorious B.I.G once said, “more money more problems.”