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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.

18 Comments

Anonymous

Bet the Dechert 1PQEs are delighted

(4)(0)

Exhausted associate

…and then there’s Reed Smith, a large US firm and neighbour of Dechert from Pennsylvania, with NQs on a tasty £63k.

Time to jump ship.

(17)(0)

Sympathetic NQ

Same here at Bakers – £70k doesn’t justify the beasting.

I’m outta here, the Yankee dolla is calling me. 💰

(8)(3)

Shoosmiths equity partner

Can I come too?

(8)(0)

Anonymous

No.

(1)(0)

Shoosmiths equity partner

How dare you speak to me like that!

I’m a top equity partner, I trouser a princely sum of £100k per year!

(2)(0)

Anonymous

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

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Meaning?

Imbecile.

(0)(1)

Unlucky

To think that I actually turned down a TC offer with Dechert and opted for Hogan Lovells instead in 2014… Back then the salary difference was negligible.

Big mistake.

(8)(0)

Anonymous

Compare their 2 retention rates over the past 10 years and I think you probably made the right choice. If you want $$$ you can move firm. Easier to do without the worry of a qualification job.

(2)(3)

Unlucky

Hmm, maybe. Still doesn’t stop some of my mates from rubbing me with it. Who would have guessed a fairly low-key firm would opt for such a bump – they were around £68k in 2014.

(1)(0)

Future Dechert Trainee

I’ve just accepted a TC at Dechert. I’m chuffed, but at the same time slightly apprehensive I’ll see any of that salary considering the mediocre retention rates. Hog Love are a great firm – you can still chase the big bucks later if that’s what you’re after

(4)(2)

Anonymous

See you around then & congrats.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Dechert have always tried to keep above Magic Circle rates

(0)(0)

Anonymous

With equally savage, above MC-level work hours.

My colleagues and I pumped out ~2,100 billables last year = 12 days + weekends at least twice a month. I effectively have no life, but plenty of savings in my account.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

What a load of rubbish – Dechert always paid more than the MC, and is just one of the last to join the bandwagon on the latest round of pay increases.

(1)(0)
(1)(3)

Anonymous

Retard.

(0)(1)

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