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Newly qualified solicitor pay at Sidley Austin hits £130,000

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A bump of 8%

The London office of Chicago-headquartered outfit Sidley Austin has boosted newly qualified (NQ) lawyer salaries by 8%.

This means that the firm’s twelve or so NQs annually will now enjoy a salary of £130,000, up from an already rather impressive £120,000. Trainees at the 20-office-outfit currently receive £47,000 in year one, rising to £51,500 in year two.

Legal Cheek‘s 2019 Firms Most List shows that today’s money move puts Sidley Austin’s NQs on an earning par with their opposite numbers over at fellow US player Weil Gotshal.

Cold hard cash aside, Sidley Austin is perhaps most famous for being the law firm that brought Barack and Michelle Obama together. The power couple met at the firm’s Chicago office where the former US President was a vac schemer and Michelle a junior associate and his supervisor.

The 2019 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

So what’s life like as a lawyer in Sidley Austin’s London office? In our Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey 2018-19, the firm scored As for quality of work and perks, but could only secure Bs for training, peer support and partner approachability.

The pay hike follows news that Boston-headquartered Ropes & Gray had bumped NQ salaries from £115,000 to £120,000 — a rise of 5%. As things stand, trainee pay sits at £46,000 in year one, rising to £50,000 in year two.

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