Debevoise confirms NQ solicitor rates of £160.5k in London

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By Emily Hinkley on


⬆️ 10%

The London office of Debevoise & Plimpton has confirmed salary rates for newly qualified NQ) solicitors now sit at over £160,000.

The New York-headquartered outfit upped salaries earlier this year from £145,800 to £160,500 — an extra £14,700 or 10%

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2023 shows NQs at Debevoise leapfrog their counterparts at nine fellow US outfits, to become the tenth best-paid NQs in the City, just behind their peers at Gibson Dunn on £161,700.

Debevoise recruits around nine trainees each year on a starting salary of £55,000, rising to £60,000 in their second year. The improved NQ rate took effect in January but details of the rise only emerged this week.

A raft of City firms have confirmed summer rises, with Taylor Wessing and Baker McKenzie recently moving to £100,000 and £118,000, respectively. Elsewhere, DLA piper also increased NQ rates to £100k and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner to £105,000.

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Dj Khaled

Another 1

Debevoise NQ



D&P offers great money, but it’s one of the worst firms I’ve ever come across in terms of quality of work and career prospects.

I was in the litigation team at D&P for two years before returning to an MC firm. The litigation team is utterly diabolical on so many levels: the quality of the lawyers is generally poor; management is non-existent, and they massively overcharge clients for what is often a mediocre work product.

I understand from friends still at the firm, that it is – still – almost impossible to be promoted to partner as a litigator. And the team is suffering hugely because of Russian sanctions – which gutted the firm of much of its litigation client base – and the departure of their entire commercial litigation business to Lovells. This isn’t helped by D&P recruiting senior commercial litigation laterals with no client base of their own…

Unless you want to be a corporate lawyer, it’s one to avoid!


I think the corporate team is well respected, particularly in funds. The “top floor” e.g. litigation seems to be very quiet. I have no idea how the quality of work produced by the lit team compares to other city outfits.

I’ve heard a lot about “overpaid commercial litigation laterals”… 😷😷but that’s above my pay grade. Either way, a fantastic salary at trainee and NQ level.


Genuinely curious, was the pay hit worth it to head back to the MC? Were the hours much more worse? Dont always hear from people who pivot back to MC from Elite US (though I accept there may be heaps).

For me, yes. The hours are broadly the same – perhaps even slightly worse at a MC firm. Salary is around £50k less so a major drop. However, I have a real prospect at partnership here – and if not a very good chance at making counsel.

You also have to consider exit oops. Very few make partner at D&P and those that do not almost always exit to very minor firms.

Cravath scaler

What’s Cravath paying NQs these days


Perhaps we might we get two more maybe Eversheds and Travers next? Who knows lol


Travers increases to 110k for NQ this week. Still tightly banded between PQEs though.

£161.5k and above are elite US shops

Goodwin is clear

Hugo, an aspiring U.S. firm trainee

Proskauer is £165k. Decent shop too.


Lmaoooooooo back to your cage fresher 😂😂😂


Who will rise next? Find out next time on dragon ball z!!


Jones Day to 300k


I’m still surprised Taylor Wessing are paying £100k, what a trajectory

Not at TW

It’s an excellent deal for junior associates given the hours and quality of training.


When are Addleshaw and Eversheds going to raise their NQ salary? Do they really rate themselves as being only 3k higher than Bird/Gowling/Fieldfresher?

Pinsent being the same as these 3 is hideous also, but we know they will not raise their NQ salary.


Genuine question – are ppl earning this as NQs happy?

Surely smashing out 12 hour days 5 days a week, living for the weekend isn’t enjoyable…

Do people earning this actually enjoy their lives?


Ambitious people enjoy it.


Jesus, the young (presumably?) people of today have a broken definition of ambition.

It’s absolutely the case that good money and middling happiness (if you’re lucky) in return for long hours and largely meaningless work can be a worthwhile trade for some people, but it’s hardly ambitious. Get a grip.

It ain’t all rainy

1. It’s not always 12 hour days

2. Earning good money is not exactly soul destroying and not having to worry about bills and stuff is nice

3. The work can actually be interesting at times

4. You can get good benefits

5. You could potentially retire earlier

The source - The Lawyer

Ffs Ashurst have now increased by 10%

Shed what are you doing

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