Akin confirms salary raise for London lawyers

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By Rhys Duncan on


Joins top London NQ payers Milbank on £177,500

Akin Gump has increased the salaries of its London lawyers across the board by a minimum of $10,000 (just under £8k).

A spokesperson for the firm has confirmed that it will be matching the raise set by Cravath Swaine & Moore last week, which includes a bump of $10,000 for NQs through to 3PQE. The extra dosh doesn’t stop there, however, with those 4PQE receiving an increase of $15,000, and 5-7PQE securing a $20,000 uplift.

This will leave the London office’s newly qualified (NQ) associates on an eyewatering $225,000 a year, the joint highest in the city alongside competitor Milbank. Although the firm’s conversion rate is undisclosed, today, that sum would balance out at about £177,500.

The 2024 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Last year, Akin used an exchange rate as high as £1 = US$1.2005, before setting a cap on salary rates, the upper limit being £1 = $1.2, and the lower limit £1 = $1.5. The rate today is $1.26568.

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List shows that Akin takes on eight trainees a year, with a typical day keeping recruits in the office until after 8pm.


C’est la monie



So has Kirkland, Fried Frank, STB, Skadden and V&E.


Loads of US firms have matched this scale for London associates


What’s their billables tho and are there weekends free?


What’s Latham and Weil NQ salary


Can this salary buy a nice house in London?


Depends what your definition of ‘nice’ is 🙂


Define nice – you’ll be in a much better place than most workers in the city at least.


Well nice..garden, conservatory a big bedrooms, a nice kitchen lol


Maybe when (if) you make partner. Especially if you want it in a nice part of London.

Kirkland NQ

With stories like this no wonder my Lambo dealer is calling me non stop today.


6 pqe now $420,000 plus bonus of $105,000


Something vulgar about these US firms who throw around money like this. I’d much rather work at a classy outfit like Slaughters, LL or Freshfields even with a lower salary.


It’s vulgar to earn more money? It’s okay to want more for your life buddy 😂😂

Clifford the big red dog

Clifford Chance in tatters following the snub.

UK Partner

Most if not all of the so-called elite US firms are overrated. Unhealthy hours, toxic culture, abysmal support and lousy training. In contrast, many UK firms are class and it is the quality training that makes you a first-rate practitioner.

London associate

Yeah that’s why US firms are able to bill so much higher rates right? Clients obviously don’t agree with you and pay US firms at higher hourly rates, which implies that the legal advice given by American firms is seen by clients as equal to or better than UK firms. US firms also have universally higher profit per equity partner numbers while ALSO paying their staff more. Yours is an embarrassing comment that reveals your parochialism!


It’s not just the legal advice they are paying for (they can get that, and better, at a lot of places) – it’s the deal execution, speed of delivery and proper US presence.

Kirkland Lambo



These figures are obscene
Who can possibly justify that when newly qualified?


Are you suggesting the partners keep it or charge multi-billion dollar corporations less for legal services?

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