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Shearman & Sterling hikes London NQ pay by over 10% to £105,000

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More experienced associates also cash in

Shearman & Sterling has upped the pay packets of its newly qualified (NQ) London lawyers to an eye-watering £105,000.

With NQs until today earning £95,000, the pay boost equates to a sizeable rise of £10,000 or 10.5%. Legal Cheek’s 2016/17 Most List shows that on the NQ salary league table, Shearman has now leapfrogged Sullivan and Cromwell (£101,500) and distanced itself further from Dechert and White & Case (£90,000). Sitting just above Shearman is Davis Polk, which pays its NQs £112,500.

Shearman lawyers further up the ladder are also cashing in. The US firm — which has deep roots in London dating back to 1972 — confirmed that mid-level associates (those with three-and-a-half-years’ post-qualification experience (PQE) and up) will now take home £138,000 (up 9.5% from £126,000). Meanwhile, senior associates (six-and-a-half-years’ PQE and up) have seen pay packets swell to £165,000 (up 5.6% from £156,000).

Shearman’s trainee pay will remain unchanged. Those in year one of their training contracts will continue to earn £45,000, rising to £50,000 in year two. Commenting on today’s pay rises, Shearman & Sterling’s London managing partner, Nick Buckworth, said:

We are committed to attracting and retaining the best of the brightest associates. Our salary rate increase is an acknowledgment of the hard work and commitment of our talented associates and recognises their ongoing contributions to the firm’s success.

Offering around 17 UK training contracts each year, Shearman & Sterling performed well in Legal Cheek’s 2016 Trainee & Junior Lawyer Survey. It bagged A*s for quality of work, partner approachability, perks, social life and international secondment opportunities.

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49 Comments

Trainee not at US firm

Hopefully these ever-increasing salaries at US firms will usher in hikes across all City firms.

Great news for those of us at firms with a normal workplace culture and decent hours.

(31)(9)

Anomalous

Pennington Manches aren’t hiking their salaries anytime soon sonny jim, don’t get your hopes up

(15)(2)

Anonymous

Are they even in London?

(0)(2)

RE THE LANDLORD ARTICLE

Disgraceful that LC should publish an article and then allow the snowflake writer to have all the negative comments deleted, disable the comments and edit the original article to make it sound (slightly) less misogynistic.

(1)(10)

Anonymous

It’ll be interesting to see if Dechert (90k), White & Case (90k), Covington (95k) and Ropes (95k) match them – those firms seem to have kept pace with each other.

(14)(2)

Anonymous

Separate point but why oh why would you train at any of these firms?

Standard wages, horrendous hours, tiny intakes.

(4)(23)

Anonymous

They’re all very good firms, particularly Ropes and Covington. Wages are well above MC and they don’t include the bonuses which are also much more generous in the US. The hours aren’t particularly horrendous, no worse than the MC. Otherwise it depends on the department and the partners, but generally you can expect much less of a Kirkland beasting. They’re also pretty happy shops – I know plenty who have moved to them from other US firms, and one from the MC, who say it was a great career move esp relative to where they were. Intakes are probably around 5 or so which is par for the course for a US firm. I trained in the MC, you all round off into tiny little cliques anyway. I didn’t know most people in my cohort and I cliqued with about just over a half a dozen trainees which is pretty standard.

(19)(1)

Anonymous

I’m not sure why K&E always get singled out in the context of ‘beastings’. I can’t imagine SullCrom, Davis Polk or Shearman being any less intense, partcularly as the’re all >£100k now.

(4)(2)

Anonymous

US firms are not homogenous, but Kirkland have a sharp reputation and a rep for some demanding (read, nasty) partners esp in finance. I have/had friends there and they were beasted considerably harder than other US shops/SC. Not that there is a *necessary* correlation, but Kirkland also pays 130-140k to NQs. They pay top of the market and let’s say have high expectations.

(8)(0)

Offering to sell my soul for $$$$

Can you elaborate further? Nothing on rollonfriday or legalcheek

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Is it correct to assume that the magic circle firms dish out less beastings to their associates as compared with US firms? I do think that some MC partners are tougher than US firms’ partners…

(0)(0)

Anonymous

MC partners are tough because they are your traditional partners with a stick up there and think they are better human beings than you

US partners are tough because when they pay you an obscene amount, they expect to get their pound of flesh back

(5)(0)

Anonymous

OK, but that doesn’t make one less tough than the other. At least you the us associate is “compensated” with more dosh

Anonymous

respect is doth more valuable sometimes…especially at 4am

Anonymous

White & Case intake is 50..

(7)(0)

Anonymous

The “leverage” i.e ratio of number of associates to partners matters more than gross intake numbers to make it affordable to increase salaries. If one firm has 50 associates and 25 partners it’ll cost each partner £20,000 to give them all a £10,000 pay increase. If another firm has just 15 associates but 5 partners it’ll cost each partner £30,000 to give them all a £10,000 pay increase.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

I don’t doubt that, my comment was simply in response to the suggestion that WC has a ‘tiny intake’.

(4)(0)

Anonymous

Plus, at partner level, it’s all the more cut-throat because there is a much higher chance of having to drop cases in situations of internal conflict. I’d rather not have to regularly scrap whatever new work I’ve brought in because one of the firm’s other offices is already representing whomever it is the new client wants to sue.

(0)(1)

Anonymous

100k is the standard now. Surely in two or three years they’ll all be there.

Will be interesting to see how MC, SC and UK firms react.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

No, it’s not. Most US firms are between 110-120k. LegalCheek doesn’t cover many other US firms. The average is probably over 110k+ bonus. There are a few over 120 and a few under 110, exceptions to where most are.

(3)(6)

Anonymous

Grab your popcorn, folks, things are about to get a whole lot tastier.

(8)(0)

Anonymous

Not sure why this received downvotes, it’s a statement of fact. 100k is not the standard for US firms. Most pay over 110. Weil, Sidley, Skadden, Cleary, Kirkland, Akin Gump, Milbank, Gibson Dunn, Davis Polk, Debevoise, Fried, Frank (I think), A&P (I think?), Latham and a few more, i.e. most US firms in London. I’m also pretty sure Sullivan pay over the amount stated in LC (and actually around 120k), usually they pay top of the market whichever country they’re in, and the number only appears here before everyone reviewed last year. It’s only really Shearman, Ropes and Covington in London which are surprisingly under the 110k mark, partly because they upped salaries before most of the market decided to up above 110k.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

What about Reed Smith? That’s a US firm!!!

(1)(0)

Anonymous

They’re indeed a US equivalent of Irwin Mitchell.

(3)(2)

Anonymous

like Mayer Brown, US brand name with British pay

(3)(1)

Anonymous

Question: I’m training at a City firm – not MC or SC – but a well regarded international firm. How do I get into a US firm on qualification?

(3)(1)

Anonymous

tell us which firm youre in?
or learn an American accent works too

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Hi. I lateralled, there’s a boilerplate clause in every new employee’s contract in a US firm and you must be able to demonstrate these qualities at interview whether you’ve trained in the MC or not. I’ll cut and paste:
“Clause 285. Mental Health and Socialising

a) All employees must adopt and display appropriate psychopathic tendencies at all time, no forms of empathy or human emotive behaviour will be tolerated. You shall treat all trainees as scum and junior lawyers will be treated as grist to the mill at all times. Senior Associates may be treated as potential future psychopaths on occasion, but at all times must be kept in a state of uncertainty so partners must revert to treating them as scum and grist on at least a once weekly basis. Failure to adhere to the appropriate standards of behaviour will result in penalties under clause 569 (public whipping and sexually deviant practices at weekly partner meetings).

b) Juniors shall not have outside interests of any nature which they find more enjoyable than the practise of law.”

hth

(9)(16)

Paul Allen

I heard you also must be able to demonstrate that you have secured a reservation at Dorsia at least once in the last 6 months.

(13)(1)

Patrick

Sorry Paul, I must return some videotapes.

(9)(1)

Dirty Blonde

He’s into that whole yale thing

(4)(0)

Donald Kimball

What do you mean ‘Yale thing”?

(1)(0)

n/a

Ropes pays more than 95k btw

(0)(6)

Anonymous

Not that they’ve announced. They had a salary review in November ahead of March qualifiers and went up to 95k. If they’ve upped, they haven’t updated any marketing publications. I’m sure they will up for September, but they made no such announcement in time for September and, having spoken to a recruiter and their HR not very long ago, presently they simply don’t pay above 95k.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

*in time for March 2017, I meant

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Are wage increases for the SC on the horizon?

(0)(5)

Anonymous

The only thing on the horizon for SC is being taken over by CMS in the next 5 years.

(53)(1)

Patrick

Savage stuff, Sir.

(8)(0)

Anonymous

Lol

(0)(0)

Anonymous

What do we reckon the MC will go up to next?

(0)(0)

Pessimistic Paul

£85,500 on an extremely good day.

(8)(1)

Deluded Diano

At least £120k as the MC needs to keep pace with their American rivals. Don’t listen to Paul, he’s pessimistic.

Yours,
D. Diana

(8)(3)

Irwin Mitchell Trainee/Slave

The partners are thinking about letting us go home and see our families.

(7)(0)

Anonymous

As an NQ how do you get into a US firm?

(6)(0)

Anonymous

Hi 5:48pm

(3)(0)

Anonymous

As I said before, get an American accent and start using American English (whatever that means)

(2)(1)

Anonymous

If i’m chasing the ca$h should I go in for IB or law??

(0)(0)

mr smyth

defo go into teaching

(1)(0)

Anonymous

get married to a rich spouse is your best bet

(9)(0)

Comments are closed.