Willkie boosts NQ lawyer pay in London to £165k 

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By Legal Cheek on


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The London office of US law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher has increased the salaries of its newly qualified (NQ) lawyers to £165,000.

The rise equates to an extra £15,000 or 10%, with NQ rates previously sitting at £150,000.

The 2024 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List 2024 shows Willkie’s London lot are now on the same levels of cash as their counterparts at Weil, and £1,000 better off than those over at Paul Hastings.

Willkie recruits six UK trainees each year on a starting salary of £55,000, rising to £60,000 in year two.

A raft of US firms have increased salaries in recent weeks with Akin and Milbank currently top the Firms Most List table with dollar-pegged rates of roughly £177,500.



There’s stil more NQ rises? Who’s next? Ashurst? The shed?


White & Case


That boat bringing W&C pay rises just got sunk by an iceberg, somewhere in the mid-Atlantic.


Surely the tides will force it to wash in, getting embarrassing now…

W&C Alum

Why do people at W&C feel so entitled to pay rises when the firm has never competed and never will compete with the true US elite? It’s a Mid Atlantic firm. Accept that or leave (as I did). Awful place to work; go to a proper Cravath paying firm or to the MC.


What makes it an awful place to work for?


All US firms paying Cravath are going up because they all raised late 2023 and they all match each other. Willkie is actually the lowest paid out of them all because their FX rate is fixed unfavourably to GBP.


This is wrong. Willkie London pay scales are set independently based on peer firms in London market rather than converting from $. Happy to clarify.


Poor move from Willkie as most of its peer firms are offering £170k + after new pay review.


Do you think a firm will ever pay 190k as an NQ in next few years?


Yes, based on Cravath scale continuing to increase (which it will). I’d say 2027-2030 is realistic.


But is the juice worth the squeeze?

Ptop Boi

If we ain’t monsters we food


Have heard Willkie isn’t too sweaty of a shop (relatively speaking)


The juice isn’t worth the squeeze at ANY of these firms so you might as well work for the highest bidder.

You think transactional associates in particular at lower paid firms like Ashurst, Macs, Eversheds, Travers are not just as burnt out? Go where you are at least rewarded sufficiently for this career.


That’s quite a generalised statement. Yes, those firms work hard but on average they are certainly not as burnt out as these associates at these top paying US firms. And there’s a reason for that.

‘Kirkland’ NQ

Something something I pay my gardener more than that in a month something something something now where did I park my Lambo?

I beg

Kirkland NQ, please give it a rest for 2024 I beg 🤣🤣


Imagine a world where firms freeze NQ salary for two years and keep on more trainees on completion of their TC.

It’s all well and good firms boosting NQ salaries to flex muscle but when they’re offloading more trainees than retaining it’s a pointless exercise.


Assume you’re not talking about Willkie? – retention was 100%


More a a generalist statement!

Legal 3rd

Nuts …when a Dr starts on £30K

Kirkland NQ

You mix with the wrong doctors. I bump into doctors at the Lambo dealership all the time, some of them work with my model girlfriend.

The Legendary Roops 🇺🇸

You misunderstand basic economics, dear boy.

Supply and demand.

Anyone can become a doctor.

It takes a special kind of person to work in law at this level.

Back to school!

The Legendary Roops 🇺🇸

Chicken feed, dear personages!


What’s the NQ salary at Paul Weise?


Willkie earn more than W&C and ropes ?

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