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Cleary Gottlieb boosts pay for newly qualified solicitors to £105,000

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MoneyLaw but on a more modest scale

cleary

US stalwart Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has leapt about the MoneyLaw bandwagon, upping the pay packets of its London-based newly qualified (NQ) lawyers to a cool £105,000.

With NQs, until today, earning £96,000, this pay boost equates to a rise of £9,000 or 9%. But spare a thought for those lawyers at Cleary with one year post qualification experience (PQE). Thanks to the generous pay rise, an NQ at the New York-headquartered outfit will now pocket the same level of cash as a lawyer with 1PQE — £105,000.

Trainees have also had extra cash thrown their way. Receiving a pay increase of 14%, those in their first year of their training contract will take home £48,000, up from £42,000. Those a year ahead will now pocket £52,000, a rise of 11% up from £47,000.

Those further up the ladder haven’t been left out either. 2PQEs will now earn £112,000 and those with 3PQE under their belts will take home £125,000.

The firm — which provides around 18 London-based training contracts annually — has not matched the massive pay increases implemented by many of its US rivals. In the wake of the MoneyLaw movement sweeping the City, Akin Gump, Simpson Thacher, Milbank, Cadwalader, Davis Polk, Kirkland & Ellis and Latham & Watkins all upped its London NQ pay to £124,000.

Late last week, Chicago-headquartered outfit Sidley Austin hiked the pay packets of its NQs to £120,000. Marking a staggering rise of 33%, it would appear MoneyLaw mania shows no signs of subsiding.

60 Comments

Future Trainee at US Firm

Where are the other US firm raises? A few key ones (in particular for me… ;)) missing from the recent news. Quietly holding out hope.

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Anonymous

Name that firm…

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Anonymous

Squire Patton Boggs. 🙂

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Anonymous

Squire Patton Boggs 😂…. It’s more of a national firm really.

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Dick Cheney

46 offices in 21 countries, very ‘national’ indeed.

But yeah, the four UK offices make it firmly stuck in the mid-market pay grade. 👎🏻

Multi-National National Firms

Of DLA and CMS ilk is Squires.

NQuiry

Not an elite firm to you is it Squire Patton Boggs?

Anonymous

SPB is no where near the same league as the likes of Latham, Skadden, Kirkland, Davis Polk & Cleary – you have to be joking if you think that they will ever pay you similar amounts as these firms will.

Anonymous

I don’t think anyone suggested they’re a Wall Street/White Shoe firm mate (given they’re HQ is in Cleveland, OH) but paying NQs 62k-ish in London when comparably big shops are on 70k+ is just dross.

NQuiry

Jones Day are unofficially headquartered in Cleveland. Yet isn’t Jones Day one of the new White Shoe law firms?

Squire Patton Boggs are very good firm or ‘Biglaw firm’ and perhaps even White Shoe?

Anonymous

JonesDay is indeed originally from OH, but has followed a very different path of development over the years. SPB had always been more of a Mid-West / regional US firm, and had expanded overseas and even into NYC for that matter, only relatively recently. Their offices across the globe are numerous, but never giant (bar the UK network, DC and Cleveland).

JD in comparison is a far larger firm in headcount (some ~2000+ lawyers compared to 1500 at SPB), and arguably more ‘prestigious’, albeit it’s debatable whether it’s a White Shoe firm, since those have traditionally been from NYC/Chicago.

Bottom line: SPB is no doubt perfectly decent to work for, but it will be up to the prospective NQ to decide whether he wants more money + longer hours, or comparably less money but ‘easier’ hours.

My two cents.

NQuiry

If you are talkng in the strictest sense of White Shoe law firms then only WASPy New York (not Chicago firms even) since this is where White & Case, Sullivan & Cromwell, Shearman, etc started out or built their brand. This is different to the traditional Jewish law firms like Wachtell, Greenberg Taurug, Kaye Scholer, etc that are prestigious but not the purest White Shoe outfits.

BUT the term ‘White Shoe’ has been broadened to include those above named Jewish firms and in some cases the regional prestigious law firms (like Squire Sanders was in Cleveland) and also traditional K-Street Biglaw firms like Covington, Hogan & Hartson (perhaps although maybe less so even Hogan Lovells today) and Patton Boggs.

If Squire Patton Boggs is taken to mean Squire Sanders solely then yes it was a Mid-West firm. Otherwise Patton Boggs has long been a prestigious lobbying firm and the highest grossing for 10 years before the merger. Patton Boggs was also a big player in oil and gas and payed associates and partners in the Middle East good dollars.

Some of the best K-Street lawyers worked there. Patton Boggs was White Shoe-and Squire Patton Boggs is the third largest lobbying firm buy decides to highlight deals in the regions of the U.K. over the big dolla deals across the pond.

I don’t know why your firm decided to be headquartered in Cleveland and not D.C. which would have given the firm a bit more prestige. To be prestigious, White Shoe, and Biglaw you gotta have a Global, Internationalist, preferably non-Swiss Verein (if you’re Squire Patton Boggd), well-payed perspective not a local, regional or national perspective.

Anonymous

The U.K. branch of SPB is essentially just legacy Hammonds, the old struggling small time player which was swallowed up by Squire, Sanders & Dempsey in 2011.

Just because it falls under the wing of a US group with 46 offices doesn’t stop it essentially being a national firm in the context of the UK. The offices are shite (I’ve been there), the pay is shite, and the work is still for mid market UK companies.

One poor trainee I spoke to had been ‘seconded’ to Veolia, the rubbish collection service, where they’d sat in a temporary building site office.

But sure, keep telling yourself it’s a big global player. Nobody believes you.

NQuiry

Oh make no mistake, I agree with what you are saying, I’m just saying the U.S. Branch has a much better reputation-at least from what I read.

I’m at a similar American firm to Squire Patton Boggs so I can’t talk much-although the remuneration is delightfully higher where I’m at.

Anonymous

@Nquiry, I wasn’t replying to you, we’re in agreement.

😉

Future Trainee at US Firm

Any chance you’re training with Sidley?

NQuiry

What does Sidley Austin have to do with the fact that the above poster rightfully pointed out some facts about your law firm?

Sidley is a fine firm at any rate so your question is hardly hurtful….

Anonymous

Nice. You must be from Jones Day.

Anonymous

Dunno which offices you visited buddy, but the London one seems perfectly decent to me (and moving to a high rise in 2018).

Anonymous

Lol, you poor soul

NQuiry

Unfortunately high rises don’t equate to greater prestige-just look at Reed Smith.

Nicer offices, names don’t affect prestige-not in the city and not in the U.S. Major cities like NYC or Chicago.

It’s all about the money, money, money, money! Raise the salary to decent prices like £70-85 for NQs, guarantee international secondments, ditch the Northern or national image, and grow your profits and Profits per equity partner by marketing yourself (yes doling out money to do so) and maybe you might attract more prestigious clients and gain more prestige and respect.

After all look at Clifford Chance…they started off as the laughing stock of the so called Magic Circle Firms…and now they remain…the laughing stock of all Magic Circle firms. Shows you can’t buy prestige!

To all CC trainees or associates the above is only a joke. To any Reed Smith, DLA or Squire folks you need to get your act together to even be deserving of “American” law firm credentials. Right now its questionable if Squire are even a true city law firm.

Future Trainee at US Firm

Never heard about the London office move. Where is Squires in London moving to?

What other inside information have you heard about Squires? Especially in London?

Anonymous

You talk so much shit NQuiry. Shut the fuck up already.

NQuiry

LC is for banter, but some of you can’t take a joke. When trolls make fun of my somewhat stingy and very traditional American law firm or criticise it I don’t start getting angry or feel the need to defend the firm.

My two pence however.

Future Trainee at US Firm

Never heard about the London office move. Where is Squires in London moving to?

Future Trainee at US Firm

Where is SPB in London moving to?

newsflash

Nothing confirmed yet, but current lease expires in 2017/18 and owner of Devonshire Square office buildings wants to do a major refurb so won’t be extending the lease.

Rumours are about the new Creechurch Place building (off Aldgate), the Scalpel tower (if finished in time) or Aldgate Tower.

News to come in Q4 2016/ Q1 2017.

Dr Freud

You seem to be full of rage and attitude.

Is it the erection problems? Or are you just a shortarse perhaps? Take it easy and don’t shit talk – life will feel better that way.

Anonymous

You think being seconded to a major blue chip company specialised in water management is somehow insignificant?

Oh sorry, I forgot your firm only works for clients like Goldman Sachs and Lazard, you utter pretentious dickweed.

Future Trainee at US Firm

Lincolnbobs, Schnooter, Pravley & Boot LLP

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Anonymous

LOL

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NQuiry

Lol that’s DLA Piper and Squire Patton Boggs for you eh?

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Anonymous

Stfu

Anonymous

JAFLAS.

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Anonymous

Reed Smith?

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NQuiry

Reed Smith also have below-American-headquartered pay. Not great.

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NQuiry

Squire Patton Boggs have raised the salary from 62,000 to 65,000.

Secondments in Hong Kong and Dubai have been added too.

The firm, Anglo-American more than American, appears to want to keep its national law firm identity so no big pay rises like at real American law firms.

But my law firm isn’t much better so..:

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Burndaddy

Which firm is that kunt?

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Anonymous

Morrison & Foerster?

(1)(0)

Reality Check.

O’Melveny? Covington? Arnold? All those firms don’t pay top dollar US.

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NQuiry

True but Cov and Arnold are among the purest K Street-White Shoe law firms. And the pay ain’t that bad-it’s not DLA, Bakers level.

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Reality Check.

K Street? (excuse my ignorance)

Anonymous

Washington D.C. royalty.

Former Hogan & Hartson, Akin Gump and (to an extent) legacy Patton Boggs also belonged to those.

Reality Check.

So you’re saying because they’re “royalty” they will attract people without having to raise salaries?

Anonymous

Ropes & Grey? Last time I checked they were on £90k.

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NQuiry

Another prestigious Boston law firm. Reed Smith and Squire Patton Boggs take notes.

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Anonymous

Dude ain’t you a bit obsessed with SPB? I mean, I respect your knowledge of the market and such, but bloody hell!

NQuiry

Don’t be sensitive, LC is just about a bit of banter. Alongside Reed Smith, Squoggs is one of these ‘American’ law firms that are pretty easy to make fun of-look at the name, profits, and type of legal work undertaken and you know Squoggs is definitely one of them easy ones to make fun of. It’s a good girl however and slowly moving in the right direction.

I’ll say no more on this, I don’t want to ruin your training contract.

NQuiry

Good Firm not girl (annoying auto-the text)

Silver Circle

You suffer from serious word salad buddy. Make sure to take your meds.

Anonymous

I’m already excited waiting for the video of Tom and Katie discussing this over a beer and an Apple Laptop!

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Dr Innuendo

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

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Bumblebee

Why are large salaries on LC always ‘cool’? Behind ‘top’, ‘rookie’ and ‘wannabe’, this must be one of your favourite words.

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Anonymous

Just be glad the verb “trousering” isn’t getting more of an outing.

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K

Lol

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K

‘To trouser’ is a cousin of ‘to pocket’.

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K

Sorry, remove the ‘to’ from the quotes in both instances…I think

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Anonymous

LC, you shut the comments on the latest LC Talks very quickly so I didn’t get to say that again I enjoyed it and think you should continue with them.

But I did want to offer some constructive criticism – and it is meant to be genuinely constructive.

Tom: use a tablet on the slant, not a Mac/laptop with the lid up. It occupies too much of the screen. If LC is too poor to get a second device, angle the back of the laptop away from the screen.

Katie: keep your hands still and get your hair held back, or at least don’t fiddle with it. Hand movement and especially hair fiddling is distracting on video (and in court). Also – and this is meant without any malice – you don’t have Tom’s advantage of a Scottish accent: try to pronounce all the syllables in a word and keep your voice level.

Both: look at each other and not at the camera unless you’re speaking direct to the audience.

Tequila bottle: darling, you were fabulous. You’ve lost weight, I can tell!

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Dick Cheney

This is far too much puffery to bear, Alex.

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Nick West

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

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