News

US outfit Vinson & Elkins rockets to very top of trainee pay table

By on

Firm’s soon-to-be lawyers will earn £105,000 during their TC

Vinson & Elkins, one of the first US firms to open a London office, has increased its London trainee and newly qualified (NQ) pay.

First year trainees will, from this year, earn £50,000. This is a pay hike of £5,000 on last year’s £45,000. Pay for second year trainees has been moved from £48,000 to £55,000, up £7,000. Percentage-wise, these increases equate to 11% and 15% respectively.

NQ salaries are up even more — by a whopping 20%. Those starting lawyer life at V&E’s Fenchurch Street office will now earn £120,000, up from £100,000.

So where do these pay boosts put the firm on the trainee and NQ pay league table? Unsurprisingly, right at the top.

V&E — which takes on about four trainees a year — is now on a first year pay par with Davis Polk & Wardwell and Sullivan & Cromwell. These two US firms sit at the very top of the Legal Cheek Most List for trainee salaries.

The same is true for second year trainees. The Texas-headquartered firm now pays the same as Davis Polk and Sullivan & Cromwell, meaning aspiring solicitors at this trio of firms will earn £105,000 over the course of their training.

Turning to NQs, V&E’s latest offering is certainly not to be sniffed at. It’s double a whole host of City firms’ NQ salaries, and exceeds all magic circle pay by at least £35,000. However, today’s big money move isn’t enough to see V&E trouble outfits at the very top of our Most List. Kirkland & Ellis (£147,000), Akin Gump (£140,000), Latham & Watkins (£124,000) and Milbank (£124,000) all chuck more cash at their new associate talent.

Alex Msimang, managing partner of V&E’s London office, said:

This is a highly competitive market, and we believe these compensation adjustments exemplify our appreciation for the hard work and excellent service that our associates and trainees provide to our clients every day.

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek’s careers events, sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub.