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Trainee solicitor pay at Weil hits £55,000

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US outfit also confirms 100% autumn retention score

The London office of US outfit Weil, Gotshal & Manges has bumped trainee solicitor pay by as much as 10%.

The New York founded firm’s first-year rookies will now start on a salary of £50,000, up 9% from £46,000, while those in year two will receive £55,000, up 10% from £50,000.

Our Firms Most List shows that the increases put Weil’s year two trainees on the same levels of cash as their peers at a plethora of US outfits including Debevoise & Plimpton, Kirkland & Ellis, Milbank and Sidley Austin. The firm — perhaps best known for its private equity work — offers its newly-qualified (NQ) lawyers a salary of £130,000.

The 2019 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Meanwhile, Weil confirmed a perfect autumn retention figure of 100%. While the 16 office-outfit declined to provide further details, Legal Cheek understands around 7 or 8 trainees will qualify into the firm next month. Weil’s London office takes on roughly 15 trainees each year.

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72 Comments

Anonymous

PHAT

Anonymous

Fantastic, another article about city law pay.

We need another two by the end of the day and at least three tomorrow. And then an average of 100 each month for the next two years. (Retention rate articles can count provided there’s a minimum five of those on any one day)

Because they’re not boring AT ALL.

Anonymous

Whats the retention rate at SPB ?

Anonymous

Shit probably

Anonymous

UK-wide probably around 65-70%. A lot of good people got shafted.

SPB Trainee

Sweatiest slave ship in the City – cannot wait until I qualify this September and can move.

Anonymous

Genuinely interested where you are moving to. Able to share?

Anonymous

White & Case. PE team.

Anonymous

Quit lying you retard. No one is getting sweated at SPB, 90% of trainees and junior associates are out of the door by 6.30pm.

Anonymous

Depends on department. In some you get totally pumped.

Anonymous

You really don’t. Not even remotely comparable to the shafting you get when working at SC/MC or US firms.

Anonymous

Completely agree. Choking on fumes here.

Anonymous

LC, why did you delete the comments about SPB not being sweaty? Are you serious?

Anonymous

Because it’s a fact? it’s a national firm with a few pokey odd ball US offices.

Anonymous

Except that it’s not? There’s no face time: if there’s no work you can f*ck right off home. I get out by 7.00pm on the dot 90% of the time, the other 10% I leave by 8.30pm.

Quit lying you gimp.

Anonymous

All US firms pay 50-55. All of them. From September if they aren’t doing it already. They aren’t advertising trainee salaries yet. This is not news. Obviously this excludes the couple odd like Davis which pay 55-60.

Anonymous

I add also that this is bad news re Weil. If you were a trainee there you would have been earning 4K less than someone doing the same job at many other US firms for the last 6 months – year. I had the same thing happen to me and it sucks. If someone is paid a penny piece more than me to do this particular job, it is a gripe.

Anonymous

Shearman definitely aren’t.

Anonymous

I can personally guarantee you Latham aren’t paying 50-55. I’m pretty sure Shearman aren’t either.

Anonymous

They are from September. Everyone is. I am right.

Shearman is an exception. But will up to MC on or around September. There are probably one or two others. But all decent ones/ ones which are not Anglicised (like Shearman) pay 50-55.

This time in two months there will probably be an article here about Shearman being 50-55. Or 48-53.

Anonymous

Mate I’m telling you Latham pay 46 for 1st year and 50 for 2nd…

Anonymous

They’re at 50-55 from September or October. Shameful they haven’t upped already.

Just to be clear/clarify: all US firms (not transatlantic gimp shops) are committed to paying market. You don’t have x firm paying lower than another except at associate level when things can be less transparent.

So to the extent a firm is not paying what another firm is, it’s a matter of months until they up (usually whenever the salary review period is at the relevant firm). Latham like others is committed to paying top (well, not 55-60) of the market. So they will up whether or not they have announced to their own trainees.

As I say, it’s shameful they haven’t done it already or announced it internally, if that is the case and I trust that you work there.

Anonymous

Anyone noticed how Weil occassionally, decreases their trainee salaries and then 1 or 2 years later they increase to the same price. This was the price 2 years ago. If Weil wanted to impress it would remain constant or increase it to 60k in the second year.

Im not impressed, speaking from a future trainee perspective. Imagine joining the firm when the salaries was as high as 55k and then the following year it decreases.

Anonymous

This isn’t true

Weil 1PQE

This isn’t true – I was a trainee at Weil two years ago LOL

K&E future trainee

K&E retention 100%

Anonymous

What other firms have strong PE practices aside from KE, Weil, Proskauer and the MC?

Anonymous

Fuck off mate, no one is buying it

Anonymous

Weil doesn’t have a strong PE practice anymore. People have left or are leaving

Anonymous

Whats Proskauer? Sounds like a bathroom appliances manufacturer

Anonymous

CMS…

4th Seat Trainee

I can second this. I’m currently coordinating the due diligence on an international deal involving a top, top Uzbekistani PE firm’s management buyout of a gambling business in another central Asian state I can’t disclose.

Anonymous

That bad, huh… Wonder if DLA is the same.

Barry Philips

Latham also runs a decent shop. But I exclusively instruct K&E these days for my high end deals.

Kronos

Greenberg Glusker boasts having a TOP TIER TITAN private equity practice. We’re currently carrying out a major transaction in Bhutan, worth 13,000,000 Ngultrum.

Anonymous

Squire Patton Boggs do. Knob on when it comes to PE.

PE heavyweight

Best PE practices in the city are K&E, Freshfields, Travers, Macs, Ropes, Latham and STB. Ranked in no particular order.

Anonymous

Depends what sort of client you’re talking about, and what transaction they’re involved in. Travers is outstanding for small PE deals but hasn’t got that much experience for bigger stuff, K&E will tend to get instructed with American clients buying foreign targets etc.

PE GOD

Lol @ Travers, Macs, Ropes, STB and in recent years, Freshfields for Best PE practices. You’re also missing CC, Weil.

Anonymous

Travers, macfarlanes

Anonymous

Freshfields is the only sensible choice. £100k NQ salary, great career prospects both in private practice and elsewhere, and (relatively speaking) normal, great people.

Anonymous

Really? All ex-Freshies I know say it’s full of psychos.

Anonymous

That’s because they couldn’t make it at the ‘Field.

Anonymous

Freshfields is great if you don’t want to leave before 11pm and be absolutely beasted

Anonymous

Why are commenters from Freshfields always so weirdly precious about their firm on here

Anonymous

Stockholm Syndrome innit

LLM

Can any city insiders provide insight into each of the small intake US firms? Thanks

Anonymous

Latham or Kirkland. Everywhere else is shit

K&E rainmaker sick of LC BS

Alright big boy, how about you get back to your GDL and we’ll see about getting you a TC in a few years’ time.

Anonymous

I have trained at all of them. What would you like to know?

Serious Response

The small US firms in London (i’m talking about 100 or less fee-earners) are a great option but generally only for specific practice areas. For example, there are some which are extremely strong in aviation/asset finance, some which are very strong in funds, some in leveraged finance, some in corporate energy and related financing work, etc. – but not across the board. Remuneration will sit roughly level with other non-spot or ‘stated’ FX rate US firms. In terms of training, you need to be relatively certain that you wish to end up specializing in one of about 3-4 core practice areas – although this is the same as the larger firms like Kirkland with the exception of White and Case or maybe Latham. Training will vary – in a top-of-the-market practice area it will probably be good. In any event you’ll get more on the job responsibility.

LLM

Incredibly helpful advice! Much appreciated.

And good thing I’m keen on certain practice areas!

Anonymous

Which ones, if you don’t mind me asking?

Anonymous

Having trained in one of the sort of firms you’re talking about, and worked for another for a few years PQE, you sound knowledgable but are talking cack. Smaller US firms are a terrible bet. You cut yourself off from practice areas other than finance, funds and corporate, and you can’t possibly know what you’re interested in. No formal training and you will be beasted worse and with more grunt work than elsewhere. Plus qualification opps are luck of the draw; often they get growth projections wrong, don’t recruit and can’t recruit more than 1 trainee per team.
Structured finance is also utterly mindless cookie cutter dross, and virtually no one doing it wants to do it.

Latham, Kirkland, Sidley, Skadden etc. are better places to train. Sullivan or Davis Polk are exceptions to a bit of the above though they usually just take first class Oxbridge who don’t ask these sorts of questions.

Anonymous

What do you think about Shearman and Cleary as places to train?

Anonymous

Avoid Shearman – utter sweatshop for shite money at the end. Also tiny and poor corporate dept

Anonymous

Where tf are nrf mb rs

Anonymous

Have seen talk of new MB numbers, but still wouldn’t expect a public-facing announcement until September (looking at last year’s, the announcement dropped 5 Sep).

Xanadu

Gotta say, Weil is head and shoulders above the other US shops in terms of £££ to dealing with psychos ratio.

Anonymous

What about the Aut’s?

LLB

Which city firm has the best banter? I’ve heard Travers is up there?

Anonymous

the ‘Land surely. You not seen the ROF articles? Something about a ski trip.

Anonymous

This is a seriously important metric. No joke.

As a City trainee/junior lawyer you’re gonna be spending a LOT of time with colleagues. Bants helps billables.

I spent a few days at BCLP and the juniors I met were all very “Lads Lads Lads” rugby-team-types. If that’s your scene I imagine banter could be on point. Big firm though so could be just that team experience.

Just another Law Student

Anyone else got any other views on firms that are like this with overtly ‘laddy’ culture?

Anonymous

JONES DAY

Weil Vac Schemer

Weil genuinely is a great firm- Band 1 PE practice and generally friendly culture-longs hours but hey that’s the price we pay.

Anonymous

Vac Schemer. We? Piss off lol

Ex-Weil Associate

Weil is the next KWM. All finance partners have left with their clients. Bye Marco!

Anonymous

Care to expand? What about Weil funds in London – or PE?

Future trainee (Ex vac schemer) ^

I should have explained, I completed the vacation Scheme this summer and was offered a training contract I was just talking about my experience.

Anonymous

You know nothing Jon Snow

4PQE - Tier 1 US

Just read the comments – y’all need to get a life.

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