Quinn Emanuel hikes NQ lawyer pay to market topping £180k 

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By Thomas Connelly on


Serious money for 20-somethings

US law firm Quinn Emanuel has increased salaries in its London office, with newly qualified (NQ) associates now earning a staggering £180,000.

The business litigation specialist confirmed today that NQ rates will increase by 18%, soaring from an already impressive £152,000 to an eye-watering £180,000.

The hefty uplift comes just a week after Magic Circle law firm Freshfields seemingly triggered yet another City pay war by raising its NQ salary to £150,000.

It’s worth noting, however, that Quinn Emanuel currently does not offer UK training contracts, meaning today’s rise could be seen as a tactic to lure top qualifying talent from rivals through its doors.

Quinn Emanuel confirmed rises further up the ladder as well. 1PQE associates will now earn £195,000, up from £160,000, while those with 2PQE will receive £220,000. The rises take effect on 1 June.

The 2024 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

You can view the increases in full below:

Alex Gerbi, Quinn Emanuel’s London co-managing partner, said:

“We are very pleased to be able to reward our outstanding lawyers for the contribution they make daily to the success of our practice in London, and we are also committed to continuing to attract the very best new talent as we pursue our strategy for further growth. With that in mind, we have decided to implement material increases to our associate salaries with effect from 1 June, taking our starting salary at the NQ level to £180,000 and stepping up substantially from there as seniority increases. We believe there is no better home than our firm for the brightest and best disputes lawyers, and this decision aligns our salaries with the opportunities we offer them.”

The Legal Cheek Firms Most List shows that Quinn Emanuel’s salary increase sees it draw level with fellow US outfit Gibson Dunn, which upped NQ pay to £180,000 back in February.


It’s not just those who are 24

*30 somethings too


Quarter of a mill at 3 years qualified. It is well.


Pay war be warring lol

Who’s next?

Okay, who’s next then ? 👀


White & Case. No where near 180k though…

Interested Observer

Do you know this, or are you just speculating?

Sources needed!


What’s NQ salary at Curtis?


Who tf is Curtis?


Why can’t they bite the bullet and go to 200k. We know it’s coming and the first to go will become a legend.


surely they can’t pay above what the cravath scale currently is in the states? 225 dollars translates to 180 gbp so that’s the max potential remuneration until states scales moves or am i mistaken?

FBD babe

Wait… is this ever going to stop?! This is crazy!

Jealous Slaughters Lawyer

Presumably these are just the base salaries too? I wonder what total comp looks like with bonuses included…


tbh if you’re at slaughters, there’s nothing stopping (subject to demand at the firm) from joining Quinn lol


Having money isn’t everything, not having it is


In other news Travers Smith been taking L’s lately

Denning’s apprentice

A real traversty

Sorry it’s the truth

Travers smith been getting bare partner departures and profits are down. They deffo not getting a salary rise anytime soon lol


What’s a Curtis?

Kirkland NQ

Lambos all round!

Terry the Tax Lawyer

Look! Just pack it in okay!

We all know you don’t work at Kirkland. Please stop it, you’re upsetting Paul the Pensions Partner he has stopped eating his beans on toast

Paul the Pensions Partner

Please just leave it. These crass materialistic comments are not welcome satire and they are a distraction to those of us who truly strive to think about the money. Darcy the Disputes Darling is really not having this today.


For that money they literally OWN you 24/7/365


You’re acting like the other magic circle firms paying below market salaries don’t own you either. These firms are just sharing more pie with associates.


There’s a reason why the firm said “no better home than our firm” LOL


Meanwhile all the other MC firms are staying silent on increasing pay as per RoF’s article today. Quite pathetic that they won’t even match the market rates of their direct competitor Freshfields. MC partners bragging how they just bought their third house and fourth supercar while moaning about associate salaries.

Give me the information please

There is no LegalCheek Quinn page. Can someone say what the hours (and bonuses) are like there? Average leave time 9pm? Midnight?


There is no leaving.

QE assoc

Morning-midnight+ average, everything comes at a price…


They will own your soul. They also seem to prefer a lot of Australia qualified associates. If you don’t have a first from Oxbridge/University of Sydney and didn’t train at a top US or MC firm with a seat in big ticket disputes or arbitration, don’t bother applying. They want the best of the best and you need to be willing to work extremely hard. It’s not a firm for the faint hearted but if you can hack it for two years then you’re set and can walk into another disputes job.


Almost as much as baby junior barrister at a commercial set…!


Who’s next to rise then?

Reckon any firms that are not US/MC will rise ?

...into the windy wind

Not the most reliable source – but let’s look at salaries for those doing an important job:


Years of experience in the industry (no comments on their actual performance, whether good or bad) in a role which is hugely important. These people run the country and so have a substantial salary for a reason. Mind boggling decisions to make about the economy, threats facing the country, support for farmers etc..

and yet, the salary for the Prime Minister in April 2022 (including the additional salary for added responsibility of other duties) – was only a measly less than £150,000 by comparison.

What is it that QE sees about the trainee role that makes them think they ought to be paying trainees more than the PM’s remuneration? Genuine question? Or is it just a p*ssing contest?

Totally jealous (of course – who isn’t) but equally perplexed and wondering whether SRA should be capping City trainee salaries at say 5x the Law Society recommended minimum for trainees.

Let the downvotes begin…

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