Fried Frank pumps junior lawyer salaries to £175k as City pay war continues

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By Thomas Connelly on


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US law firm Fried Frank has entered the London pay war with an improved salary of £175,000 for its newly qualified (NQ) associates.

The New York headquartered outfit has moved the already hefty pay packets of its NQs to a dollar-pegged £175,000, a rise of nearly 10% or £15,000 from £160,000.

The Legal Cheek Firms Most 2024 shows this fresh increase puts Fried Frank near the very top of the NQ pay table, with only Akin and Milbank offering slightly more (roughly £177,500).

The 2024 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Fried Frank recruits just four UK trainees each year on a starting salary of £55,000, rising to £60,000 in year two.

A raft of firms have increased pay for their juniors lawyers in recent weeks. As reported by Legal Cheek, Paul Hastings and Ropes & Gray moved to £173,000 and £165,000 respectively, while fellow US player Weil raised to £170,000. Elsewhere, White & Case, which offers 50 training contracts each year, confirmed increases for both trainees and NQs with the latter now earning salaries of £150,000.


Kirkland NQ

Why isn’t my Lambo in the picture of me on this article?


This is more than Kirkland.

Molly Gnasher LLB

I work for Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Is that a related firm?


The money is one thing, but imagine you’re at a London dinner party and introducing yourself to an attractive young lady. Compare the reaction to “Hello, I’m an associate at Slaughter and May” vs. “Hey I work at Fried Frank”


If you think “attractive young ladies” give a crap about your firm’s name (or even know your firm), you probably don’t talk to them too often tbh.


Eh I think most young professional women would know Slaughter and May, and know that they are the number 1 advisor to FTSE 100 boardrooms.


pretty sure original comment was just “attractive young lady” rather than “professional”. And in any event, loads of professionals won’t know who Slaughter & May are. And those who do won’t particularly care. Those who think they’re entirely persona is based on the brand of the firm they work for probably don’t get too much action! We all know those types 🙂


It’s pronounced freed frank btw

Also I wouldn’t just rely on your firm name if you’re planning to introduce yourself to an attractive young lady Tom.

Tom stop being a creep

Most “young ladies” outside of law wouldn’t have of clue who either Slaughter & May or Fried Frank were.

And I think most “young ladies” would be more swayed that they are talking to someone on just under 200k than someone on 120k .


Ngl doubt anyone gives a toss when you’re above 100k and someone who is worth it wouldn’t care at all


Most young ladies would be impressed you’re on 6 figures anyways..anyways you’re talking as if they would have the amazing social life to have the time to meet these attractive women 🤣🤣

Tom stop being a creep

Sure. But I said “more swayed”. I did not say that we wouldn’t be impressed by six figures.

Source – I am a “young lady”


I’m a young professional female and an associate at Fried Frank. Slaughter and who? never heard of them. I’m too busy counting my money


You work at Fried Frank…you haven’t got time to go to dinner parties. Your dinner is out of a paper takeaway carton. Again.

it's not the 1940s tom

I think most “young ladies” are earning enough of their own money to care what you’re being paid to do your 15hrs of redactions a day x

PS – the words “attractive young lady” are an instant ick anyway.


These AI pics are brazy lol


“City pay war continues” no it’s a US firm pay rise.

US firms sensibly paying their staff market rates whilst UK firms sit by and do nothing.


Baker, I’m on my knees


Move to these types of firms then, stop crying

Important questions

But will I have a life? 🤔


Bold of you to assume I have a life currently


Which uk city firm will rise?

ITN Pay War Correspondent

Pinsents, Eversheds and Shoosmiths will break £100k either this year or early 2025.

Gowling will be sat at home eating Crayons

NQ young lady

Shoosmiths? what a joke

3rd yr

Two birds surely

Irwin 4PQE



175k is mad. There are senior associates at silver circle firms not even on that yet.


Yhhh just think why they are paying them so much for that? It’s surely not for their amazing legal and commercial expertise lol. Although there are some excellent trainees out there.


They are paying them for their time and this is what they think it is worth. There are many other firms who will work you to death for a lot less.

Reply to pay war correspondent

Source? Now i dont assume you’re trolling because someone said previously the Fried Frank was rising to £175k and i didn’t believe them and now here we are lol

Young man

I would be really glad if you introduced yourself to me at a London dinner party.

Rumour explorer

Can anyone confirm FF/SM to 150?


Slaughter & may, have a laugh stingiest MC firm going 🤣

Rumour mills

I heard plexus law as part of their revamp are offering bonuses to match their NQ salaries..


Can any recruiter or associates confirm any salary rises to a uk city firm that’s not MC,SC or US firm?


It’s not a pay war. US firms operate a lockstep model so they will always rise and follow the New York market that upped theirs late last year.

Counting Pennies

Slater and Gordon next?

8 inch 8 figures or bust

Every commenter here, whether a BAME at UWE Bristol, a 45 yr old wine breath senior associate, or average Harry on the GDL can’t afford their mortgage.

Scooby Who

Tom *May* have been just *Slaughtered* AND *Fried* by the responses to his original post, above 🙂

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