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Kirkland & Ellis ups London NQ salaries to £143,000

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76

Follows moves by US players Milbank and Simpson Thacher

Kirkland & Ellis has bumped the salaries of its US lawyers by $10,000. This means the firm’s London-based junior lawyers, whose salaries are pegged to the dollar, are now on an eye-watering £143,000.

Last week, Kirkland confirmed it was upping the salaries of its US cohort from $180,000 (£135,500 based on today’s conversion) to $190,000 (£143,000). This saw the firm match moves by big US players including: Milbank, Quinn Emanuel, Simpson Thacher, Weil Gotshal, Jones Day, Debevoise and Plimpton, and Sullivan & Cromwell.

Milbank, which kicked off the stateside rises earlier this month, confirmed to Legal Cheek at the time that its London lot would be handed the same dollar-pegged salary uplifts. Just 48 hours later, Simpson Thacher announced the same global increases.

The 2018 Firms Most List

And now Kirkland has confirmed to Legal Cheek that it has done the same. This means the firm’s Gherkin-based City trainees, who earn £55,000 in their second year, will see their salaries rise by a crazy 160% on qualification.

Kirkland became one of the first US firms to peg its UK salaries against the dollar following a series of similar pay hikes in 2016. However, with the sterling hitting a new 31-year low against the dollar at the time, the firm’s City NQs saw their salaries swell from £124,000 to a high of £142,000 in just a matter of months. Kirkland — which offers around ten London training contract positions annually — later implemented an upper and lower limit on currency exchanges to stem the massive salary fluctuations.

Yesterday, Legal Cheek reported US litigation boutique Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan had upped the salaries of its London-based NQ lawyers to £125,000. Legal Cheek’s Firms Most List shows Quinn’s NQs are now £1,000 better off than their counterparts at Latham & Watkins, and a full £5,000 above those plying their trade at Cleary Gottlieb or Sidley Austin.

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76 Comments

MC Trainee

Damn, I am green eyed and speechless.

(36)(0)

Anonymous

Brothers and sisters!!

We need socialism to halt this greed! Redistribute this excess wealth to legal aid!

For the many, not the few!

VOTE CORBYN

(5)(24)

Anonymous

Agreed.

Less than 1% of all LLB students will ever get their hands on the moolah

It’s time for the masses to redistribute this cash to pay for legal aid and much needed infrastructure

(4)(20)

Anonymous

Simpson and Fried Frank matched Kirkland for U.K associates.

(3)(2)

Anonymous

Pegged to the dollar at £143k?

(3)(2)

Anonymous

No, so less

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Any idea what this is? They were at 115 in London. Presumably it’s the same as the Quinn London scale.

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Think Ropes have too.

(1)(3)

Anonymous

That is a lot of money.

(10)(0)

Annie

Wow… rethinking my magic circle choices / need for sleep

(23)(0)

Anonymous

Debevoise too. Legal Cheek really need to update their most list.

(10)(0)

Sploosh

Debevoise cap is lower. Will max out around around £127k for NQs on new scale.

(4)(1)

Anonymous

Genuinely what is the point in working for the MC anymore? Some nebulous notion of ‘prestige’?

(37)(1)

Anonymous

It’s actually not nebulous. If you actually want to do top tier work alongside top tier lawyers, the MC has the greatest concentration of both.

(10)(17)

Anonymous

Top tier work = European centric work. Top tier lawyers = those that have been left behind after moving to US firms.

(20)(4)

Anonymous

Why don’t the rankings support your analysis?

(7)(2)

Anonymous

What those London centric rankings… Try looking at the global rankings, or the financials, or the steady stream of the top talent making the move.

(6)(1)

Anonymous

My whole point was to compare the quality of work undertaken by lawyers in London at MC firms and US firms. The London rankings are the only rankings relevant to that analysis.

(1)(2)

Anonymous

Yes and in large part that quality is better at US firms and being undertaken by the better MC lawyers who have moved (unless it’s a low margin practice area where granted MC will get the better deal flow).

(5)(0)

Anonymous

The rankings just don’t support that view.

Anonymous

Lol oooo ‘the rankings’ aka some random bod at c&p/legal500 arbitarily placing firms into a box based on a paper submission someone in BD has conjured up the week before.

The analysis is supported by the market, the deals being carried out and the steady stream of the best talent moving as a result.

Anonymous

No, the real answer is availability of TCs and NQ roles.

Linklaters offer more TCs per year than all of the white shoe law firms combined. Many, in fact most, will not have the opportunity to go to the American shops.

(4)(2)

Anonymous

Yes as US can afford to be more picky whereas MC firms represent a safer option due to sheer number of vacancies.

(3)(1)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(9)(2)

Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

(0)(3)

Anonymous

Hi JD Partner.

(3)(3)

Anonymous

WHAT ABOUT DECHERT?!? This is HUMILIATING.

(4)(8)

Anonymous

Still better than Mayer Brown.

(3)(7)

Anonymous

Mayer Brown is a great firm.

(7)(7)

Anonymous

Sidley’s figure, for example, of 120k is out of date. My firm’s, not Sidley’s student web presence is years out of date. Be careful of using old material as fact.

(3)(1)

Anonymous

What is Sidley’s current figure, out of curiosity?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

I don’t know what the guy above you is on about but Sidley NQ is still 120k (you can check on their website).

(1)(1)

Anonymous

Except they haven’t updated the website. Which is why it pays to listen when I said firms don’t care that much about updating students.

(6)(0)

Anonymous

Current figure?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Can’t disclose, but doesn’t matter as they’ll up in the next few weeks anyway quite probably. Everywhere will probably be about 150k or more when you qualify.

(0)(2)

Anonymous

Can’t disclose lol

(7)(0)

Anonymous

You’re obviously lying

(9)(0)

Anonymous

OK, it was around 128k. I can’t remember the exact number. But they upped late last year. And I don’t particularly like conveying it to a mostly ungrateful and thick audience.

Anonymous

Spoke to mate at Sidley – it’s c.135k and trainees are c.48k and 52k.

S&M NQ

Can’t disclose – what a melt

(24)(1)

Anonymous

Typed after I bloody well disclosed. Posters like you are the reason I don’t like helping students out.

Anonymous

ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY DOLLAR

(3)(0)

Anonymous

VOTE CORBYN

END THIS GREED NOW

REDISTRIBUTE IT TO LEGAL AID AND THE CRIMINAL PRACTITIONERS

(8)(18)

Anonymous

I really want to know what warrants this amount (not in a jealous way) but was day to day life like?

(4)(0)

Work life Balance

9.30/10 until 10-2 most days.

(10)(0)

Anonymous

Disgusting

Employ two people to do the job, split the wages in two

Vote Corbyn

(3)(5)

SC Associate

Seems reasonable. Where do I sign?

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Could a Kirkland associate please break down how many pounds per hour this translates into?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

What about advisory departments i.e. financial regulation?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Sweatpits

(1)(0)

Anonymous

OOOOOOOOOOOOh

Je

Re

My

Cor-

byn

(4)(7)

Take the exit

Let us all say it slowly together – you CANT buy bottles with prestige.

(20)(2)

Anonymous

LLL

(1)(0)

mcsenior

Also the most profitable big law firm in the world. $4.7m profit per partner – about the same as S&M and CC combined.

(4)(0)

Future MC trainee

Just how different are the average hours/culture in MC corporate/banking compared to K&E?

(2)(0)

fbd

I got beasted all the time as a trainee at FBD. More than my fair share of all-nighters. It can’t be that much worse.

(26)(0)

Anonymous

What about Dorsey & Whitney?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

What’s the obssession with Dorsey – are they a decent shop?

(0)(1)

Anonymous

£72k NQ

(2)(1)

Anonymous

SPB still paying crumbs…time to jump ship!

(2)(0)

Anonymous

OOO

(4)(0)

Anonymous

CCC

(4)(0)

Anonymous

Does anyone know if Willkie is raising?

(1)(0)

Anonymous

The wealth of London is really divisive

We need to encourage these employers to set up offices in Newcastle and Birmingham and get money circulating there

One fee earner on this money in the toon would pay for nurses galore

No brainer, inevitable under Corbyn

(7)(10)

Anonymous

When will this have a trickle down effect on the regions??

Associates earning under £50k approaching 7pqe deserve better treatment.

(7)(1)

Anonymous

There aren’t many / any US firms in the region’s. UK firms still pay 70-90k in London.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Vote for Jez!

Corbyn will tax away this greed

(1)(8)

Anonymous

Wow, that is about what I am on after 25 years! Fortunately I don’t pay income tax or I would need a pay rise.

(3)(1)

Anonymous

Money makes us all smile, but let’s not forget what we a forgoing in order to earn an extra 30-40k:
1. Potential alone time
2. Family time
3. Health

Please remember, to also consider those who are not in your same situation, whether it be the poor or the poor lawyers who are living on minimum wages or working for free.

Money is good, but if you keep obsessing about it – you are jumping into the world of GREED and this chat reeks of GREED.

(8)(14)

Gordon Gekko

Greed is good, greed is healthy.

(12)(3)

Anonymous

Is lunch for wimps?

(3)(0)

Gordon Gekko

Money never sleeps, pal.

(8)(0)

Anonymous

Partners are always seeking to bump up the firm’s PEP so they can earn more money. Why can’t they share some of the spoils with their associates? Why is raising PEP a good thing while raising associates’ salaries being equated to greed?

(5)(0)

Corbyn. Sympathiser

OOOOOOOOOOOOh

Je

Re

My

Cor-

byn

(0)(6)

Toff McTory

Oh fuck right off with that crusty old Trotskyite already.

The closest that clown is ever getting to No. 10 is when he gets lucky at his retirement home bingo club.

(7)(2)

Anonymous

Remember – it only takes one MC firm to put salaries at £95-105k and then they will all follow suit. I think we are going to see that this summer. Anyone who doesn’t make that move will fall behind. This is an existential threat.

(6)(3)

Comments are closed.