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London NQ lawyer pay at Weil swells to £145k

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73

Also records perfect 100% retention score

The London office of US outfit Weil has increased newly qualified (NQ) lawyer pay to an impressive £145,000.

The fresh uplift equates to an extra £12k, with the firm previously dishing out a salary of £133k. The new six-figure sum is fixed to sterling rather than the dollar, and excludes bonus.

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List shows the outfit’s newbie associates are on roughly the same levels of cash as their peers at Akin Gump, Kirkland & Ellis and Latham & Watkins. Trainees at Weil receive a salary of £50,000 in year one and £55,000 in year two.

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A host of US firms have splashed the cash in recent months, with Vinson & Elkins topping the NQ pay table with a whopping £153,400.

Weil’s cash injection comes just months after NQs received bonuses just shy of £8,000 for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic, while those further up the ladder are understood to have received bonuses of up to 19% of salary.

Separately, Weil confirmed a perfect autumn retention score of 100%, with all seven of its final-seat trainees committing their futures to the firm.

The 2021 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

73 Comments

Andrew

It’s so funny to me that US firms boast their 100% retention rates when they take on fewer than 5 trainees an intake and the selection process is so rigorous in the first place that only a certain type of candidate gets taken on

(27)(18)

Anonymous

And yet they frequently do not retain 100% in any case.

But yes, it’s advisable to look beyond percentage figures.

(13)(0)

Anon

Weil used to have a 50% retention score not that long ago. Clearly they’ve realised the secret is to throw more money at the problem and it seems to have worked.

(14)(0)

Question

Has Weil got a good work life balance compared to Freshfields and other MC firms?

(3)(47)

Anon

Yeah, Weil lawyers tend to roll out around 5, perhaps 3 on Fridays.

(67)(1)

Truth

I hope you mean 5 am and 3 am cos that’s bullshit.

(37)(1)

Anonymous

Yes

(1)(1)

Blimey

So someone in their 20s or early 30s will be making 145k…blimey

(5)(0)

Not quite

They’ll be making about half that net of taxes, NI and SL repayments.

(12)(26)

Stop saying this

Classic response here. When people talk about salary, they give the pre-tax figure. No one goes around saying, I earn £140k, oh wait, that’s actually X, Y and Z after I deduct this, that and the other.
You’ve got two options – work at a sub-par firm and never progress your career, staying under about 50k to avoid any heavy-duty taxes. Or go and work in Dubai. Both are pretty terrible options, so good luck mate. Reading these inane comments on every article is getting so tiring. What do you propose? Seriously, what do you propose that these people do? Ask that they aren’t paid 145k, but 60k instead so that they don’t lose money to taxes?
Until then, keep trying to ridicule those who earn far more than you.

(38)(17)

biggie

Lmao what’s your obsession with sh*tting on Dubai all the time? The quality of life, tax free income and climate alone beat this high-tax low value pit that is London 😂

(24)(28)

Anon

Wow clearly struck a nerve! Time for some meditation classes mate. The point has gone over your head in that quoting gross salary gives a very misleading impression of how much people are actually making especially when you are losing half before it hits your account.

(13)(7)

Maths can be hard

It’s way worse than that. Say a 10% salary sacrifice for pension, plus an annual bonus for making the sweaty targets of 12.5%, you’re looking at post-tax income of just over 6500 a month and about 16k on bonus month. Tax amounts to about 36-38% overall. A gross 50-60k salary nets you around 3100-3600 a month. Garbage.

That £145k salary means nearly, if not actually, double the take home of these £50-60k drones. And that’s just for first year qualified.

This doesn’t address that you will have a £1m pension pot in well under 20 years if you can maintain a minimum level of that income with relatively steady increases up to the max contribution (with firm contributions of 5-8%) with current interest levels on medium/medium-high risk portfolio. Plus whatever side investments. Plus annual increases with substantial jumps at about 7-10 pqe if equity partner is the goal (I hear bottom ladder/fixed equity at these American firms is around £500k).

The arguments about no point to higher salary due to tax is beyond stupid AF. Play your cards right with the American firms and you will realistically make more take home in 15 years, with more long term security, than a regional lawyer will make in their whole career.

(34)(4)

You forgot something

You forgot to add the circa 40k they’ll be able to put in their pension annually and still come out with approx 70k after tax and NI.

(19)(1)

truthsiren

Which is kinda shit, I mean a measly £5.8k after all considered a month for sandpapering your scrotum to death at a sweatshop like Milbank or K&E…doesn’t sound all that good at all

(9)(6)

Milbanker

Not as shit as working similar hours for considerably less pay at NQ and the disparity only gets bigger.

truthsiren

Lmao sure, except that you won’t be working even remotely comparable hours at UK-HQ’d firms little man. Now back to your textbooks you go, second year LLB starting soon.

Milbanker

Yeah, ok. The hours are similar in busy transactional teams. I moved to Milbank from an SC firm and I, along with plenty of others, know that what you just said is nonsense. Why don’t you tell us where you work?

Anon

Oh wow so money in a pot you can’t touch until 60 (yes the pension age will have increased by the time you can access it) plus your 5.8k a month you actually receive.

(11)(10)

Milbanker

You’d rather work less and have less money. Good for you.

Blime

So someone in their 20s or early 30s will be making 145k…blimey

(7)(0)

Anon

What kind of NQ will be in their early 30s lol? Most will be on well over 200k at that point. You know people start their training contract at 22 right? So they’ll be 24 as an NQ.

(4)(61)

29

You talk like it’s not common for people to start their TC a few years later – either through the time it takes to get an offer, or as a career changer, or just wanting time out first. A lot of NQ are late 20s/early 30s.

(62)(1)

Truth

In fairness, the discussion is about NQs at the highest paying firms. Almost all the trainees I know at firms paying over 130k on qualification will be 24-25 NQs. The average age of qualification being 29 takes into account career-changers who end up at regional firms. Pretty much no US firm is hiring trainees in their late 20s who weren’t good enough to get offers when they were younger.

(6)(74)

yea boi

This is utter horsecock son, p*ss off 😀

Anon

The average age of qualification is late twenties.

(22)(0)

Statistically Average NQ

Correct. It’s 29.

(18)(0)

Cope

Good copium for people who have gone through countless application cycles without getting a TC offer.

Show me a single trainee at Weil or any other US firm who will qualify at 29.

(2)(41)

Anon

I’m just starting a TC at a US firm and there are trainees older than me who will qualify at 29 or older.

Doubt

@Anon 2:28pm

Name the firm then. Let me guess – it’s a fake US firm like Cleary.

Anon

Keep telling yourself that, bud. Enjoy paralegalling your 20s away in the hopes of scraping a TC. It’s not worth it.

(0)(21)

Hj

Lool you seriously don’t know what you’re on about. There’s loads of late 20s trainees. People have different reasons why they start late as opposed to sacrificing their youth in their early 20s. Lol the ignorance.

And no offence some of those early 20s trainees are bloody terrible. Eager oxbridge individuals with no common sense.

The ones who have had some paralegal experience or career changer tend to be better in my opinion.

Anon

There are almost zero late 20s trainees at firms paying 145k+. I’m not talking about whether they are better at their job than recent graduates. I’m saying that a 24 year old NQ is more successful than someone who qualifies in their 30s.

Earning 25k paralegalling for years before you get a training contract is not a good career path.

Help

Is Weil a good firm to train at??

(2)(17)

Disgruntled Trainee

Goodwin needs to raise trainee salaries.

(2)(2)

Anon

Trainee salary increase to be announced at Goodwin imminently.

(4)(0)

Feeling swole

Who gives a toss about this kaka obscure firm.

(4)(19)

Lol

Jealousy is an ugly trait lol.

(9)(1)

😂🤡

Thx son, hope UCAS clearing works out ok for u

(8)(1)

H

Mo money mo problems mo no work life balance :/

(38)(1)

Gh

Q: would you rather work at Weil, Freshfields or K&E?

(0)(22)

Anon

Anywhere but Freshfields tbh

(50)(1)

Hf

Will freshfields increase NQ salaries or nah?

(0)(17)

Anonymous

It is great the sum of money promised to newly solicitor by this firms. My only and personal concern is that the majority of these firms practice commercial law. with all this promise every law student walks to the path of commercial law for sure. As criminal law firms already complaining that they receive so little application for a training contract, if the bar does not do some incentives urgent, things will complicate.

(2)(11)

gh

So many firms doing this already but not reflected in the Most Lists. Think Goodwin, Fried Frank, Bracewell, Simspon, Baker Botts…

(2)(1)

Lol

Cos they’re sweat shop firms duh

(3)(0)

banta

Lmao fried frank and bracewell, p*ss off fresher 😂🤡

(5)(2)

gh

It really is a dream of mine to one day work at a Vault 100 law firm, which those all are. Bring on qualification.

(2)(16)

Pounds of Flesh

Shame you won’t have any time to spend it #beasted

(26)(0)

Lol

You rather work at Freshfields than k&e? Give me a break loool.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

I would rather work at Freshfields..better training than Weil or K&E good support system and more varied seats. At those firms, you’ll be beasted with no support, and expected to work weekends (yay!) hence the higher salary. Bash Freshfields but at least it’s big enough to avoid the rotten eggs can easily move if you want

(7)(11)

Anon

That might be true for firms other than Freshfields, but right now Freshfields is not at all a good place to start a TC. Be under no illusion, you WILL get beasted at Freshfields – there is not a significant difference between Freshfields hours and US hours. The culture at Freshfields can also be described as rotten – this is not the case with many US firms. I have not heard anyone from Freshfields say anything positive about the firm, and I’m not exaggerating. If I had a choice I would avoid Freshfields. If I had no choice, I would start there – but then I’d start anywhere.

(36)(1)

Truth

It’s funny you say that but I’ve heard the opposite…so guess you can only go by what people “tell” you. Read what I said again.

Also the comment is stupid because every team will have different personalities. It’s not some monolithic institution. Those people were probably shit and need to bad mouth. Take it with a grain of salt.

(1)(0)

Reality check

You having a laugh 😂. US firms are known for having a rotten culture looool. That’s their whole USP. Why you think they pay them more…because it’s so beautiful and nice? Lool

(2)(8)

Anon

I know one person starting a TC at Freshfields soon. She was on a Vac Scheme at a US firm with me, an Oxford grad, extremely competitive, a liar, and just an awful, awful person. I can’t stress it enough. She was, without doubt, and without exception, the worst and most despicable individual I have come across in the legal industry.

There are just so many ridiculous things she did. She lied to graduate recruitment in front of me, telling them how hard it was growing up, and how she moved to England at a young age and didn’t know the language, and how the school she went to was really poor and didn’t support her, and how ‘people from her background’ never break into city law. I looked her up after the vac scheme – she’s a millionaire and went to one of the best schools in London. She’s currently on a yacht in Italy before, I presume, starting her TC. Why she didn’t think graduate recruitment wouldn’t or couldn’t look this up, I’ve no idea.

It was so sweet when she got rejected. The best part, though, is that she told everyone she was offered the TC and turned it down.

If this is a reflection of the people Freshfields hire – avoid, avoid, avoid.

(36)(0)

Rumour

Trainee rumours is that FF increasing to 120k..yall heard it here first

(6)(22)

Gdkiis

Which Weil practice area has best hours? Wanna milk the system.

(4)(7)

Did

Weil or Latham or Freshfields or CC? Got offers from all, need to decide soon.

(1)(21)

Back to UCAS Clearing you go

Yea sure son 😂😂😂

(7)(1)

Thoughts

CC or Weil?

(0)(0)

Yaaaay

It’s a dream of mine to work virtually from 9.30 – 10 pm or longer including weekends. Sign me up.

(8)(0)

Answer

How much do Weil salary partners and Weil equity partners earn?

(0)(0)

Helllp

Is there major difference between 100k or 145k? I’m happy at CC but just wondering whether jump for money is worth it. My hours are reasonable too

(2)(14)

SC

5 years sweating, deposit for a house, then out before you die of stress. Congratulations, you’re now the proud owner of a 3 bed in Balham with half your hair left and crow’s feet under your eyes.

(12)(2)

Anon

Bit extreme that, mate. Try to hold back the jealousy. Could also work like this:
5 years hard graft, save up more than you will in 8, get a top in-house gig in a Mayfair working less hours than you for more money.

(7)(3)

Milbanker

Whereas you have all of the above apart from a house.

(5)(1)

SC

If you can do US hours, great and more power to you. Just pointing out the financial reward isn’t so great given the COL in London.

(2)(3)

bossgig

Sounds pretty damn top. Sign me up, i dream of joining the balding, chinless types at Milbank and Simpson Thacher

(8)(0)

Milbanker

Not to blow my own trumpet but I’d say we look better on average than MC and SC.

(2)(6)

3rd seat trainee at Freshfields

I’m a bit confused with all the bashing with Freshfields. I’ve really enjoyed my time at Freshfields. Great supervisors, interesting work and good perks. Also lots of support and because there’s so many people, so easy to make friends.

Hours are peaks and troughs but like any top firm you’ll work long hours. And you have excellent long term opportunities. Please don’t feel swayed just because of some comment on legal cheek that Freshfields is not good a place to train. That’s actually quite laughable tbh. They are lots of exciting opportunities happening particularly with what they are doing in the US.

(10)(24)

Jollof

I start my TC soon at Freshfields. If it wasn’t for the fact I don’t base my feelings of a firm from an anonymous forum, I would be scared.

(10)(9)

Question

So would you rather a CC or Freshfields then, Freshie haters?

(3)(0)

MH

Why is the comment section so toxic…I would love a TC at Freshfields or Weil! Yeah there’s probably bad parts about it like any firm but it’s literally your starting your career at the best of the best.

(17)(1)

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