White & Case boosts London trainee solicitor pay by 6%

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£48,000 in year one, rising to £53,000 in year two

The London office of US law firm White & Case has upped trainee solicitor pay by as much as 6%.

The firm, which dishes out around 50 training contracts each year, confirmed year one trainees will now earn £48,000, up from £46,000 (a 4% bump), while those a year ahead will pocket before tax £53,000, up from £50,000 (a 6% rise). Newly qualified (NQ) lawyers at the firm receive a salary of £105,000.

The boost puts the firm’s first year trainees on the same levels of cash as their equivalents over at Akin Gump (£48,000) and Cleary Gottlieb (£48,000), while second year trainees are now £500 better off than their opposite numbers at magic circle player Linklaters (£52,500).

Legal Cheek‘s Firm’s Most List shows that Davis Polk continues to be the top rookie payer in the City with a year two salary of £60,000.

The 2019 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

“The London office of White & Case offers a compensation package (salaries, bonuses and benefits) that is designed to be highly competitive in the London market,” a spokesperson for the firm said. “We constantly monitor the market, and discuss compensation with our lawyers and partners on an ongoing basis throughout the year to maintain that position.”

White & Case is one of a number of firms to throw extra cash at its young lawyer talent in recent weeks.

Last month, US law firm Sidley Austin upped London trainee pay by as much as 7%, while Shearman & Sterling and Freshfields increased NQ pay packets to £120,000 and £100,000 respectively. Yesterday, Clifford Chance also upped junior lawyer pay to £100,000, although this new and improved sum includes a discretionary bonus. Meanwhile, Legal Cheek reported this morning that NQ salaries at Skadden had been increased to £133,000.

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If you’re not earning AT LEAST £85,000 within 18 months of leaving university, you’ve failed in life. And that’s the bare minimum; personally, I would be pretty embarrassed to tell people I was under £100k.



You’re terrible at trolling just FYI



You’re terrible at life, you sub-£85k scum.

Just FYI.



What a colossal wanker. Are you sure you don’t work at W&C?



I don’t (check my vastly superior pay statement if you want further evidence).


A non-knee mousse

Okay, you’ve had your fun, now get back to your Text, Cases and Materials for Contract Law, first year.



I am a qualified solicitor.



Assuming that’s true (which is palpably isn’t), then you genuinely symbolise all that’s wrong with the profession, you utter dicksplash.



Your tears taste nice.


What’s your SRA ID mate?


I’m obviously not going to identify myself.


Lmao yea ofc, fuck off back to Treitel on Contract, you fresher fag

Uneducated LLB graduand

18 months post-graduation would put you well within your training contract, unless I’m mistaken?

I haven’t heard of any TCs paying anywhere near £85k



This institution’s name is off-putting to BAME applicants.

It should change.



I think “Rainbow and Case” would be better.



Those who downvoted are racist.

End of.



Yo guys what American firms don’t look at training contract applications? I know Skadden and Kirkland only go for vac scheme application and ignores the trainee applications completely?

I wanna make some of that blood money



Probably Vinson & Elkins, – you should look at the firms that have like 4-8 trainee intake. Just automatically assume that they will take them all from the vac schemers semen.



I trained at a US firm. My advice would be: Go and train somewhere proper like MC and then move to an American firm. If you can put up with the insanity.



Why though?



I know someone who used to work at a US shop (not W&C). She gained a solid 4 stone in as many years due to never exercising (always sitting at her desk) and eating ready meals (never having the time to prepare good food).



and not adjusting her diet so that she burned more than she consumed…



Most US firms reimburse Deliveroo/UberEATS. Plenty of healthy options on such apps. Tell your ‘someone’ to be responsible for their own actions instead of blaming a firm that probably paid her mortgage



Hear hear. What a sloppy fat bastard, got what she bargained for



damn bro



Revolting. How can you have the appetite to eat enough in order to put on four stone if you’re sat down all day. The state of that. SAD!



Honestly I handle the panel to you Legal experts. Is there one city firm that pays over 80k and still has quite chilled vibe and “reasonable” work life balance?

My next question what US firm is closest to that and still pays 90k or more?



HSF, Ashurst, HL?



First point: HL, maybe Travers on a good day.

Second point: none, albeit have heard decent things about Vinson.



Travers for the first question, possibly Hogan Lovells

As for the second, Dechert is reportedly quite nice even if the hours aren’t great. Same with Shearman – poor hours but much nicer culture than Cleary (which is populated by certifiable sociopaths) or Kirkland (much the same).



Thanks mate



Covington seems to be forgotten as a well-integrated US firm with decent pay and happy people



Brothers! Sisters!

This greed is shocking!

We need to socialise the profits from this speculation!

A windfall tax to fund the NHS on high incomes!





Pffff I would sail through that firm.



Anyone wondering what the appeal of training at this faux, mid-market Magic Circle wannabe is now that Freshies and CC have raised salaries to within spitting distance of it? WC (strangely appropriate name) really have fuck all to distinguish themselves.



It’s funny how the media/PR team at W&C have gone straight to the usual media outlets with the news of these increases in trainee pay, but there is no mention here of the fact that associate pay has just been frozen again – as it has been for the past two years.

The firm bills itself as “Mid-Atlantic” but the salaries that it pays to its associates are now effectively the same as at Magic Circle firms. The firm is getting left behind – despite its claims of record turnover and PEP. There used to be a premium in salary to compensate for the “lesser” reputation of the firm in comparison to its Magic Circle counterparts – “put up with lower levels of prestige, slightly worse work, slightly worse hours, and we will pay you (slightly) more”. That premium has now faded away.

The firm used to match Shearman, but the fact that it has refused to do so this time is a pretty damning reflection on how the firm’s stock has fallen.

Given the choice, who would really pick W&C over the magic circle, or “proper” mid Atlantic firms ( to say nothing of the NY elite?) I suspect not all that many would…


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