Vinson & Elkins bumps UK trainee pay to £60-£65k

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NQ salaries sit at nearly £174k

Vinson & Elkins (V&E) has boosted the salaries of its trainee solicitors in London by as much as 20%, Legal Cheek can reveal.

The increase means year one trainees now earn £60,000, a rise of 20% from £50,000, while those a year ahead will receive £65,000, an 18% uplift from £55,000. Newly qualified associates at the US-headquartered firm currently earn a salary of $215,000 (£173,822).

The Legal Cheek 2023 Firms Most List shows V&E’s trainees are now among the highest paid in the City, alongside other US outfits Davis Polk & Wardwell, Kirkland & Ellis, Morrison Foerster, Sullivan & Cromwell and Weil Gotshal & Manges who all offer the same five-figure sums.

V&E provides six UK training contracts each year, and in our latest Trainee and Junior Lawyer Survey it chalked up an A* for its swanky office on the 24th floor of the Walkie Talkie. It scored As for training, quality of work, peer support and partner approachability.

The 2023 Legal Cheek Firms Most List


Clifford Chance would be a fine thing

Can the MC plz raise trainee salaries


Disgruntled associate

Join the queue



Just move firms hun. People need to stop expecting UK firms to keep up with the US. They won’t, this country has a culture of low pay. Just move and stop pleading your firm to pay you standard US rates.


UK associate

It’s not a culture of low pay. It’s the fact that the UK economy is simply not very productive.



Lool honestly, any good London city firm in (I.e. the ones that people recognise their name) make a lateral move particularly if you’re in finance or corporate


Casual Observer

If BCLP can afford to pay their NQs £95k whilst the London office spontaneously combusts as we all watch, I’m sure even A&O and Links could scrape together a few more pennies from the bottom of the barrel.



You’re not going to move firms as a trainee…


Rupert; a giant in the US

Not so much chicken feed as chicken litter.

The pathos.


Bull E. Boi

Hello Poopert!

I imagine given you have time to post here you probably aren’t really a US Alpha…



You have the same Christian name as an anthropomorphic cartoon strip bear from
the 1920s.

That is amusing.

That is all.


Rupert; a better person than you

Get back to your studies, you Poddington Pea-Brain!

I probably make more in a day than you will make in a month when you’re at my level of qualification.



One day

I just want to be earning this type of money without sacrificing my personal life…hopefully one day a firm will come along with the right can only dream.



Not sure why this is being downvoted lol what is wrong with lawyers



Plenty of places like this – eg Cooleys, Orrick, DwF eg



man said DWF LOOOOOL



Cushty pay, not a big fan of oil and gas tho



Why no articles regarding law firm layoffs?


*Grabs Popcorn*

Do tell.


Kirkland NQ

Imagine getting a pay rise and still earning less than my housekeeper


Go home



Just saying

CC last increased trainee pay in 2021. Purchasing power of 50k in 2021 is about 61k today, so quality of life has had to take a hit of around 20%.

Associate raises are great but if the MC could also remember their trainees that would be great. Especially the firms struggling with retention….



Plenty of places like this – eg Cooleys, Orrick, DwF eg


STB associate

Meanwhile my bonus alone is more than £90k.



It’s nice to see a focus on trainees for once. NQ salaries are great, but you want to be living atleast comfortably in London for the hours they expect beforehand.


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