Will others follow?
US heavyweight Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy could well have fired the starting pistol on another summer pay war after upping the salaries of its London-based newly qualified (NQ) lawyers to £143,000 ($190,000).
The Wall Street firm, which dishes out around five City training contracts annually, confirmed the staggering pay boost in an internal memo to its lawyers yesterday. Prior to the uplift, Milbank’s NQs received a salary of roughly £124,000. The new remuneration levels — in full below — are pegged against the dollar and effective from July 1.
The 12-office outfit confirmed to Legal Cheek that London trainee pay remains unchanged: £42,000 in year one, rising to £46,000 in year two. It provides an £8,000 grant for both the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and Legal Practice Course (LPC), too.
Don’t expect it to remain on its own at the top for long.
In 2016, New York-headquartered stalwart Cravath, Swaine & Moore bumped US junior lawyer pay from $160,000 (then £110,000) to $180,000 (then £124,000). Triggering a MoneyLaw pay war across the pond, a host of US firms quickly followed Cravath’s lead and chucked the same increases at their London lawyers.
Milbank’s new salary levels:
1st year — $190,000 (£143,000)
2nd year — $200,000 (£150,000)
3rd year — $220,000 (£165,000)
4th year — $250,000 (£188,000)
5th year — $275,000 (£207,000)
6th year — $295,000 (£222,000)
7th year — $315,000 (£237,000)
8th year — $330,000 (£248,000)