News

Magic circle duo join the MoneyLaw madness

By on

Allen & Overy and Linklaters latest to pay US newly qualified lawyers eye-watering figure that works out just shy of £150k

MoneyLaw madness is spreading. In the latest junior lawyer pay rise stampede, the US offices of Allen & Overy and Linklaters have followed Clifford Chance and Freshfields in increasing the salaries of their American newly qualified (NQ) lawyers to a staggering $190,000 (£144,000).

Although the megabucks has yet to reach solicitors in magic circle firms’ London headquarters, it’s getting closer.

Already, English-qualified rookies at the London offices of US firms including Akin Gump, Kirkland & Ellis, Fried Frank, Latham & Watkins, Milbank and Simpson Thacher are earning £144,000 straight out of their training contracts. That incredible figure more than doubles as the associates climb the ranks, with a nine-year-qualified lawyer pulling in a whopping $350,000 (£266,000).

And it’s expected that the magic circle firms are going to have to pay American NQs on secondment in London the MoneyLaw wage earned by their peers stateside. So it will be surely only a matter of time before the firms’ homegrown London talent start hustling for a raise.

The 2018 Firms Most List

As it stands, reference to the Legal Cheek Firms Most List shows that Clifford Chance is the top payer of English NQs in London, handing them a salary of £87,300. Freshfields is second with annual remuneration of £85,000, followed by Allen & Overy at £81,000, Slaughter and May at £80,000 and Linklaters at £78,500. It’s great money but it’s a long way short of the MoneyLaw £144k — over £60,000 short in fact! By way of context, £60,000 is the salary of an NQ at Withers, one of London’s most prestigious private client firms.

To rub salt in the wounds, MoneyLaw NQs are eligible for an additional $5,000 bonus on top of their basic $190,000. Are these widening pay differences sustainable?

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek's careers events:

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub

Related Stories