Davis Polk and Cleary Gottlieb join US firms bumping NQ lawyer pay in London

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By Legal Cheek on


£170k and £164.5k

Davis Polk and Cleary Gottlieb have become the latest US law firms to increase the salaries of their fresh faced associates in London.

Davis Polk, which recruits six UK trainees each year, has boosted rates for newly qualified (NQ) lawyers to £170,000 — a 3% uplift from £165,000. The rise came into effect on 1 January.

The cash injection sees Davis Polk pull away from Willkie Farr, which offers NQs a salary of £165,000 following an increase at the start of the month.

The 2024 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Cleary, meanwhile, has upped first year rates to £164,500, a rise of 3% from £160,000. The firm recruits around 16 UK trainees each year on a starting salary of £57,500.

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2024 shows Akin and Milbank remain the top payers in the City with a dollar converted rate of around £177,500.



I thought the new Cravath scale has NQs at $225k? At current USD-GBP exchange rates £170k seems strange.


Some US firms don’t apply the Cravath scale in London.


It they paid current rate/spot rate salary should be £177k. But Cleary doesn’t pay UK associates Cravath scale and Davis uses a pre set FX rate which is super unfavourable for GBP.


US NQs moaning about rates and 160k vs 177k, whilst my firm pays £115k and I won’t ever get 160k unless I stay here for 7 years 🙁 , yay Uk firms!

Y are ppl so are entitled

Pleased you’re still on 6 figures stop moaning kmt


It’s entitled to want to be paid market rate? I work 12 hrs a day, not like I’m asking for handouts. Brits are so used to following a crabs in a bucket mentality it’s sad.

Grow Up Anon

You moaning about £115k. Lol.


I don’t think any firms pay £177k. They all have an internal FX rate so the new Cravath scale is closer to £170k (which DP closely follows for their London office).

Kirkland NQ

It’s cute when they try. I hope they don’t get too disheartened when they realise my Lambo cleaner earns more than they do.

No fibs

Kirkland NQ what did I say about your NY resolution? No porkies.


Hmm sweaty NQ salary 😋😋


Latham at 173k (Cravath, with 1.3 fx fix)

Interested in US

Does anyone know what QE are paying these days?

Happiness begins

Latham, STB, K&E and Paul Hastings are all paying £170k+ NQ/£300k 6PQE exclusive of bonus.


Happiness is relative. Are you really happy working constant crazy hours


Any associate at a decent city firm is working crazy hours, may as well get paid for it.

Response to crabs in bucket guy

Move firms then dummy and stop whining

Poor Eversheds lawyer crying for 25 January



STB is 178K plus 12K bonus at NQ.


Why you crying for 25 jan, don’t get it?


Why you crying if you’re 100k or more (yes including bonus you’ll be on that at shed) weirdos

Poorer pinset masons lawyer



What’s the NQ salary at Paul weise?

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