Davis Polk joins City pay war with £160k NQ salary

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By Aishah Hussain on


Firm hikes trainee pay (again!), as does Gibson Dunn

Davis Polk & Wardwell has joined the City pay war with a 8.5% salary rise for its newly qualified (NQ) solicitors in London.

Legal Cheek can reveal the US firm has increased NQ base pay from £147,500 to £160,000.

The pay bump means Davis Polk is joint third when it comes to which law firms pay their juniors the most, matching the remuneration on offer at Fried Frank. At £161,700, Gibson Dunn is the highest paying law firm at NQ level, but only by £200, as Goodwin Procter follows close behind with £161,500.

The 2022 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Below is a list of the top five NQ salaries currently available:

Firm NQ Rate
Gibson Dunn £161,700
Goodwin Procter £161,500
Davis Polk & Wardwell £160,000
Fried Frank £160,000
Vinson & Elkins £159,500

Davis Polk has also increased trainee solicitor pay by 4%. Year one rates have increased from £57,500 to £60,000, while year two rates, which went up to £62,500 only back in October 2021, are now £65,000. Weil Gotshal is the only other firm to offer these same rates, our 2022 Firms Most List shows.

Gibson Dunn, meanwhile, has thrown extra cash at its most junior lawyers in London. Year one trainee rates have increased from £50,000 to £55,000, whilst those a year ahead will see their salaries rise from £55,000 to £60,000. These rises of 9% and 10%, respectively, are effective this month, according to an internal memo seen by Legal Cheek.

As of last month the firm pays the highest at NQ level so it was only a matter of time it matched trainee market rates.

LPC and GDL maintenance grants were also recently boosted by 17% from £9,000 to £10,500 at the firm.

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