London NQ lawyer pay at Davis Polk reaches £135,000

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Uplifts for GDL and LPC maintenance grants, too

The London office of US outfit Davis Polk & Wardwell has upped its newly qualified (NQ) solicitor salary.

The pay bump sees Davis Polk’s junior lawyer cohort now start on £135,000, up from a previous rate of £120,000. This equates to a rise of £15,000 or 13%.

Legal Cheek‘s 2020 Firms Most List shows that the uplift put its London NQs ahead of their peers at Skadden (£133,000) and Milbank (£132,000), and just behind their opposite numbers at Sidley Austin (£135,500).

The 2020 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Meanwhile, Davis Polk has also upped the maintenance grants for both its Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and Legal Practice Course (LPC). Future trainees will now receive financial support to the tune of £10,000 during their time on each course — an uplift of £2,000 or 25%.

The firm, which takes on around four UK trainees annually, hit headlines last summer after it upped year two trainee pay to a market-topping £60,000 — a move later matched by fellow US giant Sullivan & Cromwell. Year one trainees at Davis Polk earn a salary of £55,000.

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Meanwhile at the battery farm, you’d have to be about 8 pqe to be hauling that in, with kids, a wife not working and a mortgage.


Legal Genius

Which battery farm lol



Cms innit


CMS Lawyer

No way a 8PQE at CMS gets that…



Serious question, are their teams nearly as reputable as the ones in their NY offices?

Genuinely curious about these elite NY brands and how they are effectively perceived in the London market.

Would be nice to hear from people with relevant experience!



They are generally known in London (save for a handful like Latham) for one maybe two practice areas only. If you move to one of them for that area you’ll be better off (in quality of work and literally) than you’d ever be at a UK competitor in the space.

If you join one that’s too obscure and too start up, it runs the risk of not taking off. Also look how Ropes has gone.


Legal Genius

How has Ropes gone?



Has Ropes recovered or is it still tanking?



Bit ropey at the mo


Exetah Bantah rah rah

Propa phat dollah must be so niceah



Peanuts compared to The ‘Land.


Kirkland NQ

Me and the other ‘Landers are thinking of having a whip around for them. Our junior trainee teaboy earns more than that in tips.


Kirkland NQ

Cute xoxo



Norton rose 87500, fair, very fair



Perfectly decent whack for a shop like NRF. Someone finally smelt the coffee and realised they must stop paying associates total peanuts


Legal Genius

Too bad Pinsent Masons and CMS are still sleeping.


true story brah

Neither Pinsentz nor CMS will ever go with such a jump in whack. Maybe 3-5k max, not 15k lmaooo



Their PQ2 + pay however is still horrendous. This is all smoke and mirrors


I hear it’s the same at Bakers. Folk leaving as they’re now barely paid more than NQs


4pqe silver circle

What is the 4PQE at most decent shops?



A time period between 3PQE and 5PQE


Penis Pump

Whatever the 3PQs is plus a few grand

Salary increases aren’t uniform at most firms


Former Bazza

That’s more than a newly made up salaried partner at DWF. Irwin Mitchell or DAC Beachcroft!!


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