Milbank reignites pay war — raises London NQ lawyer rates to $215k

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By Thomas Connelly on

That’s nearly £160k 😲

Just as it looked liked the pay war sweeping the City was finally easing, US law firm Milbank has gone and chucked even more cash at its already minted junior lawyers.

The New York headquartered firm announced yesterday that rates for its newly qualified (NQ) associates will move from $205,000 to $215,000 — a bump of 5%.

The firm’s London lot have been handed the same rises, according to an internal memo first seen by Above The Law, taking salaries this side of the pond to roughly £158,480 based on today’s exchange rate.

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2022 shows the uplift puts Milbank’s NQs firmly at the top of the junior lawyer pay table, with Vinson & Elkins and Kirkland & Ellis sitting just behind with rates of £153,300 and £150,000, respectively.

The 2022 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Associates further up the ladder have also seen their salaries increase. Those with two and three years post-qualification experience (PQE) will now earn $225k and $250k (£165,791 and £184,212), while those at the very top of the associate pile will receive an eye-popping $385k (£283,686). The uplifts are retroactive to January 1.

The move comes just six months after the firm boosted junior rates twice in a matter of weeks — $190k to $200k, followed by $200k to $205k.

But law students hoping to secure a training contract at this mega-money firm face stiff competition; Milbank recruits just seven UK trainees each year.

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