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Jones Day NQ lawyer salaries rise to £140k

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Extra cash for trainees too

Jones Day has increased salaries for its newly qualified (NQ) solicitors in London by 27%, taking pay from £110,000 to £140,000.

The US firm’s City rookies have also had extra cash chucked their way. First years trainees will now receive £54k, whilst £61k will be the base rate earnt by second years. The firm currently offers around 20 training contracts annually.

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2022 shows that this latest NQ pay rise puts Jones Day on par with other US firms such as White & Case, Dechert and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

Jones Day has been approached for comment.

Applications are open for the Legal Cheek September UK Virtual Law Fair 2022

Exchange rates have recently favoured NQs at US firms with Akin Gump’s new qualifiers receiving £179,000 after a new conversion rate from US dollars to pound sterling was set by the firm.

But some outfits have remained cautious about further pay hikes for juniors. The most prominent of these are Magic Circle duo Allen & Overy (A&O) and Linklaters, which have both kept NQ rates at £107,500 — for now, anyway. A&O explained that “after careful consideration of the market and with economic conditions becoming more challenging”, it would hold off on any further rises. Links, meanwhile, says it’s “continuing to review” its position on pay.

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56 Comments

Damn

This makes firms like Reed Smith, Mayer Brown, Hogan Lovells, etc, look cheap.

(78)(3)

Anon

More makes Jones Day look silly – clearly not in competition with w&c or cleary etc.

(18)(48)

Anon

They’ve matched w&c…

(20)(3)

Anon Anon Anon

I assume this person meant not in competition with regards to work or reputation, rather than cash.

This is unquestionably true. Jones Day is not well regarded in the states.

(38)(10)

Reed Smith Trainee

Reed Smith will be upping to £125k very soon

(5)(10)

Actual RS trainee

Fake – not a whisper in the firm about this.

(9)(3)

Reed Smith Trainee

If you’ve heard nothing that’s your on you and your partner. I have it on good authority it is happening.

(10)(1)

G

Yh but there TC structure is a bit weird

(39)(4)

Anonymous

How so

(0)(3)

Answer

I think G is referring to Jones Day having a non-rotational training contract so, as a trainee, you can get your work from any department at all

(33)(1)

Lol

I.e. no individual department of Jones Day can offer an adequate work flow for a period of 6 months in London.

(81)(4)

Anon

Or from no department at all

(8)(1)

A&O C Suite

When will it stop?!

(54)(1)

Anon

Pray for Mojo

(5)(0)

Anon

Weil grant at 20k btw

(12)(2)

Curious Weil Guy

When and where was this confirmed? Also why do people dislike Weil, they kind of just seem like a quiet PE shop… not the size of Kirkland or SullCrom but big you know.

(5)(8)

Anonymous

Because it’s a sweatshop

(25)(3)

Ex-Weil

Big in the US only. Weil London’s culture is absolutely terrible and the firm is bleeding good partners/associates as a result of that. Management is brutal and thickos are turfed out at earliest possible opportunity

(22)(0)

Anonymous Moose

I don’t think they’re disliked at all. They’re considered elite in restructuring, and defo top tier in PE. Even public M&A is on the rise there following some huge lateral hires from what I hear. They are also one of the few US firms with a decently large intake and a well-established presence in London. Not to mention the highest trainee salaries in the city and an NQ pay of 160k.

I assume the ‘dislike’ you mention stems from the hours which I have heard can be gruelling – then again, all the similarly top-tier firms will be the same.

FYI not a Weil trainee/associoate, but at a similarly sized/reputable US firm and have worked across them a few times.

(10)(11)

Anon.

PE is hands down top tier but not restructuring since Adam and Alex’s departures during covid. That aside the truth is the actually toxic culture jam-packed with incompetent sycophants and grimy backstabbers.

(8)(0)

Anonymous Moose

I don’t think they’re disliked at all. They’re considered elite in restructuring, and defo top tier in PE. Even public M&A is on the rise there following some huge lateral hires from what I hear. They are also one of the few US firms with a decently large intake and a well-established presence in London. Not to mention the highest trainee salaries in the city and an NQ pay of 160k.

I assume the ‘dislike’ you mention stems from the hours which I have heard can be gruelling – then again, all the similarly top-tier firms will be the same.

FYI not a Weil trainee/associate, but at a similarly sized/reputable US firm and have worked across them a few times.

(8)(4)

Elton John

You’re talking poppycock. Obvs you have no bloody clue about Weil in London and I feel obliged to address the litany of misconceptions here.

Weil is a dreadful place to work as proven by the alarmingly high turnover in the last two years. PE has not been busy for yonks, and so is restructuring. “Elite” on rankings only but not in reality.

(9)(0)

Anonymous Moose

Why has the weil NQ to 160 not been reported by LC?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Where did find this?

(0)(0)

Anon

What about Reed Smith? Will their salaries increase?

(2)(15)

Lesley

The magic circle is a myth.

(30)(16)

lol

Wrong article to post this comment on. JD is a mid market US firm that doesn’t pay Cravath on either side of the Atlantic and doesn’t really compete with MC firms in anything.

(50)(2)

cringe overload

Good thing you haven’t gotten a TC from the MC then 😂

(3)(8)

fringe overlord

cringe all you want, it’s true. JD is more akin to DLA in than it is to MC in terms of the calibre of work

(14)(2)

Amorphous Blob stuck in a college library during the summer months

Jones Day always paid similar or more at NQ level compared to the MC firms, so not sure why you’re posting this now?

Also a bit of history for you… in 2000, before the merger, when Jones Day was still Gouldens, the firm would pay £60,000 to NQs at a time when MC firms paid £45,000. The gap between Gouldens/Jones Day and the MC firms has grown smaller over time.

(15)(0)

Anon

And nq now 160

(0)(1)

Curious

Anyone know what the average salary is for 2-4 PQE at MC/US firms?

(4)(3)

Busty teller

£210-245k for 4 PQE at US
£135-145k for 4 PQE at MC

(36)(1)

Anon

Spot on and bonus at MC is paltry. You’d be lucky to get 10k net after a year pulling 2000 hour +

(16)(6)

Bob

Bollocks. I got 35k last year before new bonus scheme at 4.5pqe, and new bonus scheme is up to 145k

(2)(5)

Anon

35k NET?! Did you even read the first post? And we’re talking about 4PQE here

JD Ass

JD don’t give bonuses either.

(0)(0)

CuteBoy_1974

MC is 125k base, and raises in 10k increments per year. The MC pay 160,000 + 84,000 bonus to a 4PQE.

Not commenting generally on any salary bunching and lower salaries which occur in mid-market UK firms like CMS or A&O.

Also a lot of US firms salary bunch. Dechert, for example, has you spend 16 months on £140k and then a payrise to £145k for another year.

Good point if intended though that better to be a 4PQE at a US and stay 2 years, then an NQ and stay 2 years, in terms of the pay differential net of tax – at NQ the difference after tax given the various issues of personal allowance loss and 45% tax isn’t worth bragging about, at 5PQE, it’s more like a 50k difference with MC base net of tax.

(2)(15)

Nice try fresher!

Looool

1. Since when were bonuses in the range of £80,000 / 25% of base guaranteed at MC firms. MC associates literally have no clue what they’re gonna get paid until they’re paid it

2. Dechert is a crap mid market US firm that doesn’t pay Cravath and never could – why use them as an example of salary bunching. They’re the exception that proves the rule. Same goes for Jones Day, Katten, etc

3. Cute dig at A&O (rejected for their vac scheme?) but they also do 10k a year salary bumps, or at least have done since their pay review in Nov ’21. CMS is a different story

(12)(8)

Bubble Tea

1. MC Rates

https://www.legalcheek.com/2022/04/open-thread-what-uk-firms-are-really-paying-associates-beyond-nq-level/
“Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer payscale – newly massively boosted bonus pot from next FY on- assuming standard bonus @1800 hrs and normal ratings, and standard speed (one promotion every 12 months) profession through the “Career Milestones”:

NQ: 125,000 + 13,000
1PQE: 130,000 + 18,000
2PQE: 140,000 + 38,000
3PQE: 150,000 + 56,000
4PQE: 160,000 + 84,000
5PQE: 165,000 + 102,000
6PQE / senior associate: 175,000 + 116,000

If you do the sums you’ll see that this is benchmarked against the Cravath scale (sans Cravath bonuses)”

2. Mid-Market US

“Dechert is a crap mid market US firm …” I think that’s incredibly harsh. As is JD etc. They’re paying above MC. The billables / hours are probably similar. Sure they fall short of top tier US big balls PE / lev fin rates, but they’re also not pulling those kind of hours. If you work at Dechert and get paid 160k as a 2PQE and are billing 1700 hours, rather than 2300 for c.190-200k at K&E, most people would take Dechert in a hearbeat.

3. The Joke You Didn’t Get

That A&O is mid market. The one that made you butthurt. To be fair, if it looks like duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck, so I’ll repeat that CMS and A&O are mid-market.

Also, FYI, I’m an associate.

pathetic

1.

Yeah I’d totally trust an anonymous Legal Cheek comment that makes it sound like everyone at FF makes the same unless they’re in the top 10% or whatever of associates. That totally makes sense and totally doesn’t overlook the fact that there are wildly different levels of profitability and utilisation across the firm right now.

Also I love how you assumed that CC currently pay the same as FF, as if there is or will ever be a single ‘MC’ pay progression (I’ll spare you the pain now… they don’t pay the same).

2.

1,700 billable hours at Dechert? Hahahaha okay fresher

3.

Anyone can understand that the positioning of a firm’s/practice’s/team’s offering does not necessarily correspond to the salaries it offers. So many examples of this… BCLP Real Estate, Macs M&A, basically everything that A&O and LL do, etc. Conversely there are US firms that pay top whack in spite of being mid market at everything in London e.g. Cadwalader, Wilkie, Akin Gump. Like do I really need to make this point?

Either way don’t worry about the rejections from A&O and LL, I’m sure that you’ll have another shot this September, provided that you weren’t the weirdo who was running around shouting “mid market” and scribbling with crayon on their walls! (was that you? oh no)

Good lord above

My god, why are you getting so emotional over someone calling A&O ‘mid-market’ ? 😂😂

Anonymous

What are the PQE rates for firms like NRF, Mayer Brown, Reed Smith?

devignon.899 (follow me on insta)

my mans thinkin that every 4PQE at CC is getting 50 percent bonus frrr 😭😭

(11)(0)

Really?

Making a 50% bonus sound guaranteed when it’s only going to be given to those in exceptionally profitable teams is a bit misleading. Keep in mind that a lot of these teams have been less busy this year so associates in them may not manage to meet the consistent level of busyness required to get a high bonus.

(2)(1)

Anon

4 pqe at US is £259 plus bonus

(7)(2)

Dump Trump

Weren’t Jones Day the lawyers for Donald Trump?

(5)(4)

Donald Trump

R.I.P The Magic Circle

(9)(3)

A&O Associate

I am an idiot.

(11)(0)

Fresher Alert 🚨🚨

You don’t work at A&O and you’re not an associate, it’s fine. You’re a bit of an idiot for not prioritising your vac scheme applications though, do you really think they’re going to write themselves? Get off Legal Cheek and start googling!

(1)(4)

Better than you

And you work in marketing for a start up, what’s your point?

(0)(0)

Huh?

Are NQs then paid more than 1-2 year PQEs?

(0)(1)

Anon

Will HL follow suit??

(5)(2)

JD Powerman

Lmao nope, dream on.

(2)(0)

Trainee

What about the silver circle? Any pay increase at BCLP or Ashurst?

(0)(6)

Garth

Why haven’t A&O or Links increased salary?

(8)(4)

Comments are closed.

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