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Vinson & Elkins pushes London NQ salaries above £153k as it confirms trainee retention score

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5 out of 6 rookies stay put

US law firm Vinson & Elkins has upped the salaries of its newly qualified (NQ) lawyers in London and confirmed its autumn 2021 trainee retention score.

Newly made up associates will now receive a staggering pay packet of £153,400, up 4% from an already impressive £147,500. V&E says the new and improved base rate is effective from 1 July and matches those of its US rivals in London.

Legal Cheek‘s Firms Most List shows the Houston-founded outfit dishes out just six UK training contracts each year, with trainees earning £50,000 in year one and £55,000 in year two.

Separately, V&E confirmed it will retain five out of six trainees (83%) due to qualify this autumn. The firm made all six offers but one trainee declined theirs to pursue their preferred specialism elsewhere.

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Two NQs will join the firm’s mergers and acquisitions and capital markets team, one starts associate life in energy transactions and projects, another qualifies into complex commercial litigation practice, and the final NQ joins V&E’s finance team.

V&E partner and training principal, Andrew Nealon, said:

“We are delighted that we were able to extend an NQ offer to all of our qualifiers. We are incredibly proud of them all and their ability to thrive in a new working environment. We look forward to seeing our qualifiers continue to excel in their new positions.”

A host of US firms have increased their NQ cash offerings in recent days, with Sidley Austin and Simpson Thacher bumping UK rates to £148,500 and £147,000 (dollar to pound conversion), respectively.

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