Latham & Watkins bumps trainee pay to £50-55k and increases maintenance grant

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Future rookies to receive £10.5k in financial support

The London office of US law titan Latham & Watkins has upped trainee lawyer pay by as much as 10%.

Legal Cheek can reveal first year trainees will now receive a salary of £50,000, up 9% from £46,000, while those in their second year will earn £55,000, up 10% from £50,000. The rises are effective from 1 March.

Our Firms Most List shows that the uplifts put the firm’s rookies on the same levels of cash as their opposite numbers at a host of US outfits, including Kirkland & Ellis, Ropes & Gray, Sidley Austin and Weil Gotshal.

The 2021 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Upon qualification, UK associates receive a salary of $190,000 (around £137,000 based on current conversion rates).

Latham, which recruits around 24 trainees each year, also confirmed it had upped its Post-graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course maintenance grants to £10,500 — a rise of 31% from £8,000. The boosts will take effect from 1 August.

Earlier this week Legal Cheek reported that fellow US player Goodwin Procter had bucked the COVID pay cut trend, upping London NQ salaries by 10% to £137,500.

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If you’re wanting to work at a top firm this is the one to be at. Can’t see what would attract someone to a MC or SC firm over Latham.


CMS 4th Seat Trainee

What about patriotism? I for one wholeheartedly believe that the UK behemoths will rise again and beat the American hydras.



Or maybe Weil for PE.



If you work in certain specialisms, the MC may still be more attractive than LW/KE.


Disgruntled associate

Agreed, much better than K&E.


38years PQE

Latham is a quality firm, I literally cannot fault them



Hope she sees this bro


That’s great. Can you figuratively fault them?



And people were trying to say a TC at Macfarlanes would be better than Latham haha



Do you have a TC from either?



Let’s be honest most here would accept a TC at either.

Those in the profession know that qualifying at either does not really make a difference and you’ll realise this when you see lawyers moving between these firms.



There needs to be an adult version of Legal Cheek with trainees and qualified lawyers because clearly this site is just full of trolling or idiotic students who don’t have a clue



Its actually really weird how there are infinite sites and venues for law students to talk, but suddenly when you become a trainee or an NQ, everything drops off a cliff. Finding information about qualifying or career paths is so difficult. Literally most of my information just comes from falling upon random useful comment threads here or on ROF, which is really not ideal.



That’s because when you’re a trainee or NQ, you should have made some qualified contacts to advise you. Hopefully.


@1.23pm anon: I see you’re not familiar with the mandatory paranoia and guardedness required the second you enter into a large firm. If I was to wander round asking my seniors about all of my concerns, my career would be over in about ten minutes. Other trainees and NQs are barely straight with eachother, let alone anyone else.


nuxe, out of curiosity, what concerns do you have in terms of qualification / career paths? I’m still a year+ away from starting my TC and it’d be great to know what kinds of things people are thinking of / paying attention to at that stage.


Try downloading ‘Fishbowl’ — it’s exactly what you’re looking for.

Suggestion question

Isn’t Fishbowl really inactive on the law side? I see unanswered posts from 7+ months back, and very little discussion on average


No one said that



On the Macs article, somebody said that it would be better to qualify at Macs then move to Latham at NQ/few years PQE.



Agreed, Macs training is solid. Train there then jump ship at NQ



Those people are called trolls.

I can’t believe readers are unable to understand when a commenter is being sarcastic and satirical.


Harvey Dent

What are the hours / work life balance like for a junior in one of the smaller support teams at Latham. E.g. commercial, tax, IP etc ?



You’ll still be working all reasonably available hours on all weekdays and all the unreasonably available ones when a deal is on.

If you are concerned about work life balance in any way then Latham is not the firm for you. That extra 10k per year comes at a very high price to your wellbeing and personal life.



I know someone in tax at Latham and that’s not true. At all. Your comment reeks of jealousy.



I do envy them for having the wherewithal to do the work in the way they do but I can’t afford to linger on it because I know I would be incapable of doing the same.

They probably envy me for leaving before 6 most days but don’t envy my non-swiss watch. Whatever floats ya boat.

I only judge myself against my past self. If I’m doing better than that guy then I’m happy.


Anon LW Trainee

I am very well and have a highly satisfactory personal life thank you. I probably also have more money than you 😉


LLBs everywhere

Back to your textbook fresher, those online exams aren’t passing themselves.



Top whack, solid results in RoF survey, huge laterals, new office… Probably the best firm to be at right now.



We don’t move office until 2026



Why aren’t all London law firms listed in the LC Most List? What is the point of a list if it isn’t comprehensive?



I did not know trainee solicitors earned that little.


Reft Yhui

True. Its ought they were upping pay by £50k. Imagine working for that. How miserable.


Latham powerhouse get on!!!

OMG it says Latham and something else!!!! Quick comment on Latham being the greatest and US>MC!! YEESS!!!


Latham NQ

I’m still very angry about Piers Morgan disrespecting Lord Sumption on his show



What’s the best US law firm in terms of work life balance in all honesty?

Tbh I wouldn’t mind working at us law firm with crazy hours for a few years if it meant achieving financial freedom and moving to a another firm or career with better work life balance.



Cravath has great work life balance. Quinn Emmanuel really good too.



Fried Frank, Goodwin, Milbank, Proskauer, Weil, White & Case etc






Will there be big salary increases at US firms this year?



Why write an article stating that Latham’s NQ salary is circa £137K when LC’s Most Lists state that the NQ rate is £145K. Additionally, why write an entire article on Goodwin’s NQ rate increasing to £137,500 when Goodwin don’t even appear in LC’s Most List? So odd


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