MoneyLaw latest: Simpson Thacher boosts junior lawyer pay to $205,000 in London

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By Legal Cheek on

US outfits continue to splash the cash

Simpson Thacher has joined a growing number of US firms to bump the already sizeable salaries of their newly qualified (NQ) lawyers in London.

Junior lawyer pay at the New York headquartered outfit now sits at an eye watering $205,000, up from a previous rate of $190,000.

An internal memo circulated by the firm confirms its London lawyers will receive “proportionate salary increases”.

This means Simpson Thacher’s City lot will earn a salary of around £147,000, using today’s exchange rate — although, like with our previous MoneyLaw coverage, it’s worth noting that the unusually weak dollar obscures the full impact of the rises.

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Meanwhile, 2019 and 2018 qualifiers (US firms operate a slightly different PQE system to UK outfits) will now earn $215,000 and $240,000 respectively, while those at the very top of the associate ladder will receive $365,000 — or around £263,000.

The rises come after US outfit Milbank kicked-off another MoneyLaw pay war when it upped junior lawyer salaries to $200,000 (roughly £143,500) earlier this month. Not to be outdone, Davis Polk quickly hit back with pay rises of its own, upping NQ rates to $202,500.

A whole host of US firms have now matched this new benchmark with some, but not all, chucking the same rises at their City associates.

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