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London NQ pay at Skadden hits £133,000

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Rises for rookies too

The London office of US law firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom has boosted newly qualified (NQ) solicitor pay by a healthy 13%.

The uplift means Skadden’s junior lawyers now earn £133,000 a year, up from a previous rate of £118,000 — an extra £15,000.

The additional cash sees the firm’s London lot leapfrog their peers at a host of top US outfits including Milbank (£132,000), Sidley Austin (£130,000), Weil Gotshal (£130,000), Cleary Gottlieb (£120,000), Davis Polk (£120,000), Ropes & Gray (£120,000) and Shearman & Sterling (£120,000).

However, the London offices of US firms including Akin Gump, Debevoise & Plimpton , Kirkland & Ellis and Latham & Watkins continue to top the NQ pay league. English-qualified rookies at these firms earn a salary of £143,000 straight out of their training contracts.

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Trainee salaries have also increased. Those in the first year of their training contract now earn £50,000, up from £45,000, while those a year ahead now receive £55,000, up from £50,000 — rises of 11% and 10% respectively. The 22-office-outfit takes on around ten trainees in London each year.

News of the pay boosts come just 24 hours after Clifford Chance raised its NQ salary to £100,000 (including discretionary bonus). This follows a similar move back in May by fellow magic circle player Freshfields.

Matters of cold hard cash aside, Skadden scored well in our Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey, notching up an A* for perks, as well as As for quality of work, peer support, office, canteen and social life.

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