The story of how 25-year-old City lawyers came to earn £143,000 a year

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By Legal Cheek on

A handy video explainer

It’s been an interesting couple of months for City lawyer pay.

US outfit Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy fired the starting pistol on another summer pay war after it upped the salaries of its London-based newly qualified (NQ) lawyers to £143,000. Not to be outdone, a host of US firms quickly matched Milbank’s big money move.

The focus now shifts to the top UK-headquartered outfits, most notably the fivesome known as the magic circle. Keen to preserve their elite status and keep their associate ranks satified, they too are likely to bump pay — but by just how much remains to be seen.

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That said, one big City firm — albeit not a member of the magic circle — has already upped pay following the US rises. Herbert Smith Freehills announced last week that junior associates will now start on a £93,000 (salary and bonus), up 13% from £82,000.

Legal Cheek has produced a handy video (embedded above) giving you the lowdown on this summer’s MoneyLaw madness.

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