Cleary Gottlieb hikes London NQ pay by 14% to £120,000

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By Thomas Connelly on

‘MoneyLaw’ movement continues its assault on the City

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has upped the pay packets of its newly qualified (NQ) London lawyers to a staggering £120,000.

The New York headquartered giant has hiked remuneration by £15,000 (14%). The firm, which has 16 offices in 13 countries, offers around 15 City-based training contracts annually and boasts a most recent retention score of 100%.

Astonishingly, the firm’s first year associates (who presumably can’t believe their luck) were handed a sizeable 9% salary boost just five months ago. Then, their pay packets were taken from an already cool £96,000 to an eye-watering £105,000.

Now Cleary Gottlieb’s most recent cash boost has seen their associates leapfrog the likes of Davis Polk (£112,500), Weil Gotshal & Manges (£115,000) and Skadden (£118,000), and puts them on an earning par with the young lawyers over at Sidley Austin. However according to Legal Cheek’s Most List, Akin Gump and Kirkland & Ellis’ London cohorts — who unlike other firms peg their salaries against the dollar — are still the top earners in the City, pocketing as much as £147,000 a year.

Cleary Gottlieb’s pay moves appear to be a conscious effort by the firm’s management to replicate the big salary rises implemented by US players in the City last summer.

Kicking things off in June, fellow New York stalwart Cravath, Swaine & Moore hiked its new starter salaries to $180,000, which given today’s exchange rate equals £147,000. In a trend dubbed the ‘MoneyLaw’ movement, a large number of US firms followed Cravath’s lead, with some rather generously chucking similar pay rises at their London cohorts.

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