Increases of 12% in first year and 8% in second year
Trainees at Akin Gump will, from September 2017, enjoy hefty pay increases in both their first and their second year, Legal Cheek can reveal.
Until recently, the US outfit paid its first year City trainees a very respectable £43,000, putting Akin Gump on an earning par with magic circle stalwarts Freshfields, Linklaters and Slaughter and May. Now, pay has shot up by £5,000 or 12% to £48,000, rocketing Akin Gump up the trainee pay table. This means the firm pays the same as Cleary Gottlieb, while only fellow Americans Davis Polk & Wardwell and Sullivan & Cromwell pay first years more (£50,000).
Akin Gump, which is headquartered in Washington and offers four London training contracts a year, has also thrown more cash at its second years. Again moving beyond the magic circle, the firm has increased pay from £48,000 to £52,000. This £4,000 boost amounts to an increase of 8%, and whizzes the firm into the highest echelons of the big money US City of London firms. You can see what trainees and newly qualified lawyers (NQs) are paid at all the top firms in the Legal Cheek The Firms Most List.
These hefty salary increases now mean trainees starting this year will earn £100,000 across the course of the two-year programme. By Legal Cheek’s number crunching, only four other firms can boast the same: David Polk (£105,000), Sullivan & Cromwell (£105,000), Jones Day (£101,000) and Cleary Gottlieb (£100,000).
As for money earned post-qualification, the firm has informed us that at this stage NQ pay will remain the same. NQs are paid US$180,000, which today amounts to £140,000 (though note the fluctuating currency exchange rate means this will change).
On the firm’s recent pay rises, Victoria Widdows, director of international legal recruiting and development in London, told Legal Cheek:
We offer an inspiring and immersive environment in our London office to train as a lawyer, and we want to ensure that our trainee salaries are reflective of the top end of the market, as is the case with our NQ salaries.
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