Akin Gump trainees will now earn £100,000 across their two-year training contract

Increases of 12% in first year and 8% in second year

richkidsmoney (Instagram)

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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So now you LC morons grade firms by how much money people make across 2 years of their TC? Very clever indeed.


News just in!!!!!!

Legal Aid criminal barristers to earn £1 million!!!!!!

Over a 30 year career….


They won’t “take home” £100,000 over two years now will they? This is just moronic cliche.


I am unimpressed by the way LC has edited the original article to remove the words “take home” without saying that they’ve done it, so as to make it look as if the original poster is just making a random comment/unjustified criticism. This is really quite disgraceful. Any respectable news source that changes an article after it’s been published puts a note at the foot of the article to say what they’ve done and why.


I’m rather interested in whom this “David Polk” character is, paying his trainees such high wages. Sounds like a hell of a sole practitioner…

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