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K&L Gates bumps London-based junior lawyer salaries to £71,000

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Trainees at the US-headquartered outfit also handed fresh pay rises

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International law firm K&L Gates has upped the pay packets of its junior lawyers to £71,000, Legal Cheek can reveal.

The firm — which offers around 10 London-based training contracts annually — has chucked an extra £3,000 at its newly qualified (NQ) cohort, equating to a boost of just over 4%.

According to Legal Cheek’s 2016/17 Most List, K&L Gates’ rookies are now earning the same as their counterparts at single-office City outfit Macfarlanes, and whole £1,000 more than those at Ashurst, DLA Piper and King & Wood Mallesons.

Further down the pecking order, trainees at the US-headquartered firm have also been awarded pay increases. Those in year one of their training contracts will now pocket £41,000, up from £37,500 — an increase of 9%. While those a year ahead have been handed a £2,000 (5%) increase, taking salaries up from £44,000 to £46,000.

Across the pond, K&L Gates has been a little more flash with its cash. Back in June — responding to pay increases adopted by New York titan Cravath, Swaine & Moore — the firm hiked new starter pay (look away now London associates) from an already impressive $160,000 (£130,000) to an eye watering $180,000 (£145,000) across a number of its US offices.

Away from the exciting world of lawyer pay, Legal Cheek’s latest law firm survey revealed a few interesting tit-bits about K&L Gates London office.

According to our research, lawyers at the firm often work long days, arriving at the office (on average) at 9:07am and not leaving till after 7:00pm. The firm — which, the survey shows, appears to offer little international travel — did score highly across a number of key areas, including quality of training, social life and peer support.

22 Comments

Gaga

‘According to our research’

Funniest thing I heard all day. You’re such a researcher Tommy.

(6)(1)

Rumpletock

Squire Patton, are you going to raise salaries?

Or are you just going to wait until our imminent, next recession and wait for hyperinflation…

(5)(1)

Food for thought

They review salaries annually in January so we’ll probably have to wait until then. I assume they’ll go up to ~£65,000 to keep in line with Stephenson/Pinsents/other mid-sizers.

Going up to £70k would be a bold step, but seems to be somewhat unlikely. Will be interesting to see what Addleshaws or Reed Smith will do.

(5)(1)

Tatatay

Nice to see an affable, informative post “food for thought”.

AnG are somewhat shocking – spent the whole year boasting about its increased PEP to brace for the US merger that didn’t happen, whilst announcing that it wouldn’t raise salaries due to brexit.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Reed Smith will probably go to £65,000 to stay competitive with other mid-marketers. Their problem, though, is the ‘meritocracy’ which seems most people struggle to get beyond £70,000 until 4 PQE whilst being asked for an extra 100 chargeable hours per year. AG will probably match whatever Eversheds/Pinsents do.

(2)(1)

Food for thought

Interesting insight, thanks for that. Agreed, RS will likely go up to stay remotely competitive.

It makes one wonder how firms like KWM decide to go to £70k when they are in obvious long structural difficulties. Hubris, I guess.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Eversheds in London:
NQ – £64k
1PQE – £68k

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Lol, even the Shed pays more than Reed Smith. 😂

(2)(0)

PurpDrank242

To hear of £65,000 K in pay for office work in an era of 45% tax makes me shed a tear for the poor NQs of Reedy Smithers.

(0)(0)

PurpDrank242

I hear they’re getting a swanky new office though. Cute little mid-sizer, they need to try and compete with the big boys.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

Who’s this? Reed Smith?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

What about Covington, Cooley, Dechert, Jones Day, Ropes & Gray, Shearman… all profitable US firms paying around 85 – 95k, surely they need to go up to stay competitive with similar US firms (Latham, Kirkland, Weil, Debevoise, Skadden, Gibson, Cleary etc.) ?

(6)(2)

Anonymous

Unlikely. You just named their direct City competitors – unless one of then breaks off the group and others follow, they will probably keep each other matched on the 85-95k range.

(4)(7)

Anonymous

There are plenty of competitors for talent paying more – those listed above.

(3)(1)

Anonymous

To maintain the appeal of a US firm – high salary, high responsibility – some of those firms would do well to increase. Covington and Shearman in particular compete at a level with firms who are at 100k +

(9)(0)

Anonymous

There is still a place for ‘Mid-Atlantic’ payers and, by and large, they have moved north in the last year or so. Chargeable hours of around 1800-2000 a year is very different to doing 2200+ which you would be doing in a firm paying top NY rates. These places will remain attractive because of good international work and a base salary which is still significantly higher than most City firms but without the really, really, tough hours.

(4)(1)

Anonymous

When I think of Mid-Atlantic I think of Reed Smith, DLA Piper, Squires, Hogan Lovells etc. not the firms listed above paying below US market levels.

(4)(2)

Anonymous

Squires Mid-Atlantic? More like East Midlands…

(6)(5)

Food for thought

I wouldn’t call them Mid-Atlantic either. They are actually known as a Mid-Western firm, given their HQ is in Cleveland, OH.

However, legacy Hammonds do indeed originate from Leeds.

(5)(0)

PurpDrank242

Jones Day must also be a “Midwestern Firm as it’s unofficial headquarters are in Cleveland Ohio too.

What people don’t realise is that Squire Sanders Dempsey, a conpletely American firm, had a London office which merged with Hammonds. Then Squire Sanders (including the legacy Hammonds) merged with Patton Boggs, a highly prestigious public policy law firm.

So although Squires has some Hammonds roots it’s pretty American and the global managing partners are American.

So the firm (at least for those in London) is as much American as it is British, kinda Anglo-American.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Yes Jones Day is a Midwestern firm.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Well, nominally so, albeit Jones Day became so big it doesn’t have any firm central HQ anymore.

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