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Akin Gump ups London NQ salaries to $202,500

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US MoneyLaw mania continues to rock the City

Akin Gump has upped the salaries of its newly qualified (NQ) lawyers to a bumper $202,500, as the US summer salary war continues to spill over into the City.

The new coveted six-figure sum means the firm’s new associates this side of the pond will receive a dollar-pegged pay packet of around £145,000 — although the full effect of the rise is somewhat dampened by the uncharacteristically weak dollar. Akin Gump confirmed to Legal Cheek that it reviews this rate every quarter.

Further up the ladder, lawyers with one and two years post-qualification experience will receive a salary of $205,000 and $215,000, respectively, while the firm’s most senior associates will earn $365,000. All increases will be effective 1 July 2021.

In a memo announcing the extra cash, Akin Gump’s chairperson Kim Koopersmith thanked lawyers for their “incredible contributions” and playing a “vital part” in the success of the firm.

And it’s a double-windfall for the firm’s lawyers. In April, the US titan dished out special spring bonuses of up to $64,000 in recognition of associates’ “exceptional contributions” over the past year.

The 2021 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Legal Cheek‘s Firms Most List shows Akin Gump dishes out around six training contracts annually, with trainees receiving a salary of £50,000 in year one and £55,000 in year two.

The fresh pay rises come after fellow US outfit Milbank fired the starting pistol on MoneyLaw 3.0 by upping junior lawyer pay to $200,000, or roughly £143,500 for its London lot. It didn’t take long for its cash-splashing rivals to react, with Davis Polk quickly setting a hefty new benchmark of $202,500.

A whole host of US players have taken similar steps in recent days, matching either Milbank or Davis Polk’s rates.

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