US trio boost junior City lawyer pay

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By William Holmes on


Exclusive: Rises at Dechert, MoFo and Sidley Austin

Three US law firms have increased the salaries of their trainee and newly qualified (NQ) lawyers in London, Legal Cheek can reveal.

Morrison Foerster has bumped its rookie pay by £10,000 to match the top market rates, The Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2023 shows. First years will now take home £60,000, whilst second years can expect to receive £65,000.

MoFo has also increased its NQ base pay from $202,500 to $215,000. Because the firm only adjusts its currency conversion rates every January, NQs will be paid a base figure of roughly £156,000, although this sum will likely increase in January upon a re-adjustment of the conversion rate.

The 2023 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Legal Cheek can also confirm rises in NQ pay at Dechert and Sidley Austin. Dechert’s London NQ’s pay packets have risen from £140,000 to £145,000, and Sidley has increased rates by 7.4% from £148,500 to £159,500.

This salary hike puts the Sidley on par with fellow US outfit Vinson & Elkins, whilst juniors at Davis Polk & Wardwell, Goodwin Procter and Weil Gotshal & Manges earn just £500 more. Dechert’s new NQ pay scales see it overtake White & Case (£140,000) and draw level with Sullivan & Cromwell and Willkie Farr & Gallagher.

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