Gibson Dunn tops London NQ lawyer pay table with 12% boost to £161,700

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By Thomas Connelly on


Also rises for juniors at Simpson Thacher and Covington & Burling

US law firms Gibson Dunn, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Covington & Burling have handed fresh pay rises to their junior lawyers in London.

Gibson Dunn has moved rates for newly qualified (NQ) lawyers in the City from £145,000 to £161,700, according to an internal memo seen by Legal Cheek. That’s an extra 12%.

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List shows Gibson Dunn’s NQs are now the highest paid in the City, surpassing their counterparts at Goodwin Procter who previously topped the table with a salary of of £161,500.

The 2022 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Gibson Dunn recruits around seven trainees into its London office each year.

Those further up the ladder have also been handed rises, with base rates for associates with one and two years post qualification experience (PQE) now sitting at £169,200 and £188,000. Those at three PQE will receive £221,800. The uplifts are retroactive to 1 January 2022, according to the memo.

Elsewhere, NQ lawyers at fellow US outfit Simpson Thacher will now earn a hefty £158,000. Salaries at one and two PQE have moved to £166,000 and £183,000 respectively, while those at four PQE will receive nearly a quarter of a million pounds (£245,000). The rises are backdated to 1 January 2022.

Finally, Covington & Burling has upped the salaries of its London NQs from £129,000 to £151,000, a rise of 17%. Salary bands at one and two PQE now sit at £158,000 and £171,000. Again, these apply retroactively from 1 January 2022.

Our Firms Most List shows Covington offers nine UK training contracts each year with a starting salary of £48,000.

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