Dechert and Fried Frank raise junior lawyer salaries in London

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£140k and £160k

Dechert and Fried Frank have become the latest US law firms to up the already impressive salaries of their junior lawyers in London.

Rates for Dechert’s freshly qualified associates have moved from £125,000 to £140,000, an impressive uplift of £15,000 or 12%.

The move comes some four months after the firm, which offers around ten training contacts each year, increased the salaries of its trainees in London to £50,000 in year one and £55,000 in year two.

The 2022 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Elsewhere, Fried Frank has increased the base rates of its newly qualified (NQ) lawyers by 10% — £145,000 to £160,000. Trainees currently earn £55,000 in year one, rising to £60,000 in year two, following a pay bump in November.

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2022 shows Fried Frank’s NQs are now among the highest paid in the City, with only fellow US player Goodwin Procter dishing out more — a staggering £161,500. Dechert’s money move, meanwhile, sees it match the salary already on offer at White & Case.

The increases come as the chief executive of DWF, Sir Nigel Knowles, warned last week that skyrocketing salaries are simply a “sticking plaster” and the legal industry needs to find better ways of incentivising young lawyers.

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Law Firm Merch Reviewer

Great whack.

However, the firm gave out probably the useless/psychotic piece of merch I’ve ever received at the open day. It was a wind-up dancing Dechert robot. I kid you not. Never seen anything like this outside of the firm.




I also received this monstrosity


I earn a lot but my soul is destroyed

A wind up robot? That is a glimpse into what it is like working in law.


RPC Associate

I have never owned a £50 note.


Oh no she better don't

That’s RPC for you…


Dechert - well done

I wonder what firms like Jones Day, Mayer Brown, Reed Smith etc will do. US shops that pay pretty handsomely (105/110k to an NQ etc) but are now pretty far behind with firms that they like to think they compete with.



Good comment. Mayer Brown and Reed Smith like to tell their London graduate applicants that they “culturally don’t consider themselves US law firms” (read: we can’t compete with our competitors’ salaries), so neither has really occupied that US “money law” space in the market. However, Jones Day I agree is ever increasingly being left behind, when historically market wise it would be placed alongside a Dechert/ White and Case. Will be interesting to see whether Jones Day eventually move as it’s been a while since they’ve shifted NQ salary.


Incoming Trainee Solicitor

W&C is a top 10 global firm, which pays v. well – not in the same league as JD, which seems like a miserly, antiquated boys club, or Dechert, which is just lagging behind.



Jones day doesn’t compete with these firms. It sits opposite the likes of CMS, Eversheds and DLA on corporate deals. It’s London office literally excels at nothing, all mediocre rankings.


6PQE US Associate

Jones Day doesn’t even offer a bonus of any kind. Laughable trying to hire laterals in this market with that kind of miserly approach to remuneration.



So if the rankings are mediocre, what’s a 4/5 PQE at DJ on vs CMS/Eversheds/DLA?





Kirkland NQ

Welcome to the big leagues. Pop by my Chelsea townhouse some time, I may have a spare Lambo you can buy off me.



And NQ at Kirkland can barely afford a one bed in Holloway…unless your a billionaire- no Chelsea townhouse for you hunny buns


Who actually cares about top US firms increasing from 140k other than the handful of NQs who work there?

Who cares about top US salaries anymore?

Sure, we all know a handful of NQs at top US firms are sitting on 140 – 160 k a year. That’s old news.

I imagine most readers are not bothered when a US firm increases salaries when they’re already paying over 140k. Readers care more about increases at MC, SC, and UK firms as these are a lot lower, are more noteworthy and impact a lot more people.

E.g. Eversheds increasing to 95k, DLA paying 65k in the regions

– those are way more significant than a US shop increasing an already massive salary.


Kirkland NQ

I laughed so hard reading this, I had to screenshot it for my fellow ‘landers. I’ve never seen such a show of blatant jealousy, and being a Lambo owning PE demi-god, that’s saying something.



You think you’re so great with your stupid posts.

Believe me, they do not phase us in the slightest.

As I see your comments slowly begin to appear on my screen while the dial-up AOL internet at my firm loads, I scoff at how silly they are.

Sure Kirkland NQs may get paid 145k but they do not get the benefits they happen at smaller firms.

For instance, I helped on the purchase of my local kebab shop and now I get free kebabs.

Bet you don’t get that do you?



There’s over 200 trainee positions at U.S. firms. Probably 150 NQ positions (educated guess) so its a lot more than a handful and the jobs there are more plentiful than you think.



Going off your method of using trainee positions:

150 US NQs (200 trainees) compared to

MC – 445 trainees
SC – over 200 trainees
Other city firms – 500+ trainees

When compared with well over a thousand other trainees, 150 does seem like a handful.



Yes and LC reports on that too so what’s your point…..



That there’s more than a handful of jobs so actually cares, probably quite a lot



Waiting for DPW / K&E and STB to follow this… They have still not matched MB


FF NQ Associate

Don’t cry a river, I can take you in my newly bought Lambo £££

your sincerly,

FF NQ associate



Put down your hot wheels sweetie and go back to explaining why after tax you’re basically in a US firm xx


FF NQ Associate

Because of the work/life balance – Lot of work (same as MC I assume) but more money to invest (i.e., any additional pound above my fixed expenses can make babies + time value of money – so the more I have the better I am)…


Goodwin 2PQE

Nice burn King. Welcome to the Lambo club.



Has anyone ever heard a good thing about Norton Rose?



Not really.

They keep popping up on my laptop telling me my computer is unsafe and suggesting a years subscription to their security.

Quite annoying to be honest.



Threat yourself and your student loans



Facking ell, when it rains it pours.



Dechert at one point had a very poor retention rate of around 50 percent who did their two year training contract.

How’s the figure looking now?


Strong Cheese

Latham? Weil? Kirkland? DPW? Simpson? Hello Sir?



lol, latham,weil and kirks are all between 145 – 150 for NQ. What difference is it really after tax between those salaries and being on 160k?



STB matched new DPW’s scale last week (source – ATL)



Why has no one made a fast food related joke yet?

Have they all been censored?



Because, like what sometimes happens to me when I post on here, poking fun at someone’s NAME is not cool.


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