News

NQ lawyer salaries at Weil hit £150k

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77

Elsewhere HFW increases by 16% to £85k

The London office of US outfit Weil Gotshal & Manges has increased newly qualified (NQ) solicitor salaries by just over 3%.

The move means the firm’s most junior lawyers will now earn an impressive base rate of £150,000, an increase of £5,000 from £145,000.

Our Firms Most List shows the cash injection puts Weil’s NQs on a par with their opposite numbers at fellow US players Latham & Watkins and Skadden.

The 2022 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Trainees currently earn a market-topping £60,000 in year one, rising to £65,000 in year two.

Elsewhere, HFW has boosted NQ salaries by 16% from £73,500 to £85,000. The pay uplift will “cascade upwards for other associates”, according to the firm.

It has also dished out one-off bonuses of up to £10,000 to associates who meet certain performance-related criteria. This is in addition to annual performance-related bonuses.

Other firms to provide an NQ rate of £85,000 include Fieldfisher and Gowling WLG.

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77 Comments

Anonymous

Hard to believe Ropes is still at £147k

(30)(7)

Chin up soldier

Is a 3 grand difference really that big of a deal?

Especially when at 140-150k?

(46)(2)

Psychology of salaries

It’s perception, makes it look bigger than it actually is.

(31)(2)

Michael

That’s what she said

(18)(2)

Anonymous

It’s not 3k. Ropes should be raising to the £160k mark.

(5)(0)

Ropes senior

It’s the fact that up the tree they pay about 30% less than their peers. It’s not about the NQ rate which is relatively competitive.

(11)(0)

Ropes

Ropes basically bunch quite a bit. Around £100k base difference when you get to 5/6 PQE.

PQE RG (Base)
NQ 147,000
1 157,000
2 167,000
3 177,000
4 187,000
5 197,000
6 207,000

(11)(0)

interested

do the bonuses make up for that at all? or do they just underpay compared to other similar firms?

(1)(0)

A different Ropes senior

Some of these numbers are not correct.

(0)(0)

Mediocre

Is it just me or does this feel more like a publicity stunt

(17)(3)

Response to “mediocre”

Publicity stunt it clearly states on Weil’s website that NQ salary is 150k. Why would they lie about? It’s not really big ask for a 5k increase, they can afford it.

(3)(1)

Lol

It’s just you.

(9)(1)

Cambridge PhD

Like everything it is horses for courses. Trainees/upcoming cohorts etc have nothing to lose and everything to gain from these raises.

Salary doesn’t just denote the work but also the cailbre of people firms want/how much of your life do you want to sign away/put up with.

(3)(6)

K

Only thing they lose is their social life…and physical health from the ongoing long hours. But yeah, nothing else.

(24)(3)

Anon

My best friend from university is a senior associate at a US firm on a similar footing to Weil. He’s healthy, happy, and has a great family. He enjoys his job.

Compare him with the pale, amorphous blobs of insecure jellies that populate the desks in my team at a U.K. firm, and he looks like Superman.

Perhaps you’re a bit jealous?

(30)(15)

Anon

He’s either to anomaly to the norm or on a lot of Coke

(61)(8)

Kirkland NQ

Funny how good life is when you’ve got the best townhouse on your Chelsea street and enough spare cash to buy your mates a bottle of vintage Krug each at the local wine bar. Try it you may like it

Lol

Looool please, your best friend is either in the rare category or he’s showing the “facade” as in what he wants to show you.

(8)(1)

Look at the %s

Pinsent NQs get 23% pay raise
Weil NQs get 3% pay raise

Yet still some people on the Pinsents article critiquing it!

(9)(4)

Come on....

Come on LC, you should know what people want to hear about (you started an entire other forum for it!). Comment about whether you asked them for details of salaries for all other levels.

(24)(0)

How?

Watson Farley, how can Gowling and HFW be earning more than you?

(7)(3)

How do you think?

Because WFW isn’t a particularly good firm and the EPs are selfish?

(3)(0)

V

With cost of living rising, salaries need to increase further, every NQ needs to be paid at least 80k +.

(19)(2)

Anonymous

Looooool you do realise that the vast majority of twenty-somethings (even in London) don’t get paid half that, right? It’s just vulgar to insist that anybody “needs” such a vast salary for doing something which – let’s be honest – doesn’t really benefit society very much.

(13)(1)

Accurate Info

Sadly inaccurate.

Skadden NQ salary stands at £157,000. Fairly sure Latham pays more as-well.

Weil seems slightly behind the curve, at a time when leading firms are playing well above £150,000.

(17)(3)

Mate

Skadden’s grad rec brochure on their website says £150k

(5)(3)

X

(8)(0)

Skadden 3PQE

Can confirm Skadden NQ pay is £157k with a £12k bonus if you hit 1800 hours. They increased it from £150k a few weeks ago

(12)(0)

non-law

what is skadden current trainee salary?

(0)(0)

Hogan Lovells Trainee

32k

C

Might be due to their stupidly high trainee salaries. They could have easily set it at 50k – 50k mark and then at NQ set it at 157k +

(2)(2)

Anon

Latham pays less than 150 base

(49)(1)

Lol

Latham deffo pays 150k – it’s like the 1st or 2nd most profitable firm in the world tf lol

(1)(41)

Dispassionate Observer

Not true. Latham’s exchange rate is notoriously bad

(27)(0)

Observer 2

It’s time we shed light on Latham’s exchange rate

(19)(0)

US Trainee

Agreed – LC can we get the spotlight on this? Haven’t heard anything from L&W in a while.

Or anyone working at Latham? Base + bonus this year for an NQ?

Clue-d in

Latham exchange at 1:41 for the year

Help me I'm poor

Latham’s exchange rate is 1.45

Ex LW

As of last year, it was GBP:USD 1.45:1 (real rate, 1.30). Equates to £148k.

Anon

Honestly, who cares?
An associate isn’t going to go, ‘actually, I’ll turn down the Latham offer for Vinson Elkins/Akin Gump/Fried Frank because the exchange rate of the latter is better and after bonuses I’ll earn 10/15k more which will get taxed at about 50% anyway.’

It’s such a tiny detail that it’s almost entirely unimportant. I don’t think the exchange rate being ‘outed’ will turn Latham into a laughing stock and ruin their appeal.

Don’t they do it on a 5-year floating rate or something? So it’s going to catch up soon anyway?

Lathamer

Trust me. We care. At 3PQE on we are talking 10-15k difference on base salary, going up to 30-40k as you get more senior. Ye wouldn’t go V&E but a lot of other US shops start to look a lot better given the hours we pull

US Firm Observer

Latham actually starting to look like the stingiest ‘elite’ US firm. They pay less than peers at every level, GDL/LPC grant (£10,500), trainee (£50,000 / £55,000) and now less than £150k at NQ.

Why on earth would you work here rather than somewhere like White and Case, or Covington and Burling, for slightly more wedge and way less hours.

Latham needs to up its game.

Pay transparency

The drop in the pound vs. the dollar means that Latham is underpaying compared to spot-exchange US firms like K&E even more than it was a few months ago.

NQ for obscure US firms

What’s NQ salary for Greenberg and Faegre Drinker?

(3)(3)

CMS

Bracewell, Baker Botts or Vedder Price?

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Slaughter and May?

(3)(0)

Ff

Are there any practice groups at Weil that have a fairly consistent 9-5?

(2)(16)

FF Sake

Reprographics

(118)(0)

🚨 ⚠️ Fresher Alert ⚠️ 🚨

You’re asking for it

(19)(0)

So So Good

hahahahahahahahahahahaahahahaahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. If this is trolling, its top notch. If this is for real, its equally amusing.

(3)(1)

Anonymous

Some teams have fairly consistent 9-5am

(15)(0)

Pro Bono Squad

Tbf, life on litigation there is pretty cushty. Definitely not 9-5 but they spend most of their time doing pro Bono etc.

(3)(2)

Lol

Loool pro Bono how fun

(0)(0)

That’s the question

Which firm will rise next?

That’s the question.

(1)(0)

Jim

The Clyde/BLM behemoth will join the party in due course.

(6)(6)

Anon

I very much doubt Clydes (which has eaten BLM) will be increasing again.

The recent rise to 80k appears to be the standard for insurance firms as they can’t really increase any further due to insurance panels

(1)(3)

Bored of Waiting

The silence from Browne Jacobson is deafening.

(19)(0)

Pay The BJ Boys

Forgot you existed, which is fairly telling in itself sadly for what was considered a solid national firm 8 or so years ago.

(7)(2)

Question

Is this not old news? Brochure this cycle has always said 150k or am i mistaken?

(6)(0)

Oh Neillll

Anyone have insight on PQE scale?

(4)(0)

Pay War Historian

Anyone know what the current NQ rate at K&E is?

(1)(0)

anonymo

K&E just matches the cravath scale and converts it into GBP at whatever the spot rate is each month. The bonuses for most people are basically the cravath scale with some extra on top, stated in USD and again converted to GBP at the spot rate

(9)(0)

K&E Partner

K&E pays Cravath USD rates converted to sterling at spot each month (i.e. it changes month to month) subject to a cap and collar of 1.65:1 and 1.25:1.

At current FX at time of writing (1.2887:1), that equate to just under £167k.

(6)(0)

Delicious

About £167k at current FX.

That’s approximately 668,000 Chomps / Fudges / Freddos.

(5)(0)

Anonymous

These firms are awesome for training young lawyers.

However, if it’s the money people are concerned about …….For £150k they will be on the clock for about 3000 hrs a year inc weekends. They will bill about £600-700k. Their take home pay will be about £25 per hour while the firm takes £500k.

Other new model firms like ours at Aria Grace Law CIC, a 3 yr pqe made £220k last year, working just over 1100 hrs billing £300k. She make approximately 4x per hour what an equivalent lawyer at a top US law firm gets. She also became a Zumba instructor.

It really just depends on what you want.

(7)(15)

B

Do Aria Grace law offer TCs? Seeeems right up my street

(0)(0)

FF senior

Next round of raises please Fieldfisher

(1)(0)

Speculator

Based on no insider knowledge whatsoever, I’d expect FF to be at around £90k in London and £60k in the regions for NQs, so yes I’d be hoping for a bit of a bump (although nowhere near that in % terms) if you’re a SA.

(0)(1)

Casual Pay War Enjoyer

Based on no insider knowledge whatsoever, I’d expect FF to be at around £90k in London and £60k in the regions for NQs, so yes I’d be hoping for a bit of a bump (although nowhere near that in % terms) if you’re a SA.

(4)(1)

US Firm Observer

Latham actually starting to look like the stingiest ‘elite’ US firm. They pay less than peers at every level, GDL/LPC grant (£10,500), trainee (£50,000 / £55,000) and now less than £150k at NQ.

Why on earth would you work here rather than somewhere like White and Case, or Covington and Burling, for slightly more wedge and way less hours.

Latham needs to up its game.

(14)(5)

K&E Associate [Former vac schemer at Weil]

…….with the money being a plus side, Weil is such a great firm to work at. The training and support they give to their interns, the collaborative culture, genuine investment in their lawyers career development and D&I is unmatched. I had an insight day and vac scheme with them before moving to the states for an associate role at K&E.

(7)(9)

Ceeeeeeee-Hump

Tell me more about your deep knowledge of the firm from your vac scheme…

(7)(1)

Weil Associate

Agreed 100%

(0)(2)

Future US trainee

white & case still at 140k and starting to fall behind the pack…

(3)(0)

C

So is Cleary

(0)(0)

Junior Barrister

Enjoying all the news re City pay war.

Would like it if LC ran a similar article on whether chambers are increasing their fees given the economic climate and, if so, which ones.

(1)(1)

2PQE

Simpson and Paul Hastings both pay too of the market rates as far as I’m aware. £158,000 for NQ and £209,000 for 3 PQE. Hours can be longer than the average US firms tho.

(1)(0)

Comments are closed.

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