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Dechert hikes newly qualified salaries by 22% to £90,000

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City outfit Watson Farley & Williams also bumps junior lawyer pay to £68,000

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US outfit Dechert has upped the pay packets of its London newly qualified lawyers (NQs) to £90,000.

NQs at the Philadelphia-headquartered firm — who until today pocketed £74,000 a year (relatively low for a US firm in the City) — have had their pay upped by a hefty £16,000 (22%).

Offering around 12 London-based training contracts each year, Dechert has also bumped up its trainee pay. Those in their first year of their training contract will earn £45,000, up from £44,000 (a 2% rise), while those a year ahead will now pocket £50,000, up from £48,000 (a 4% rise).

Elsewhere in the City, Watson Farley & Williams has also hiked pay for its young lawyers — albeit more modestly.

The London-headquartered firm — which provides around 18 training contracts annually — has increased NQ pay from £65,000 to £68,000, a boost of £3,000 or 5%.

The firm, like Dechert, has also chucked extra cash at its trainees. Lawyers in year one of their training contract will now receive £42,000, up from £41,000, while those in year two will now walk away with £46,000, up from £45,000. This equates to a 2% rise across the board.

Late last week, City law firm Bird & Bird and the London office of US giant Sidley Austin both revealed contrasting pay increases of their own.

While Bird & Bird upped NQ salaries by just 5% to £62,000, Sidley Austin — on the back of the MoneyLaw movement rocking London — boosted the pay packets of its junior lawyer talent by a whopping 33% to £120,000.