New York heavy-weight Weil Gotshal & Manges has bolstered salaries for its London-based associates.
The move has resulted in newly qualified lawyers (NQs) seeing their salaries jump by a healthy 8 per cent from £90,000 to £97,000 from September 2011. This is the second year in a row that Weil has increased NQ pay - last year NQ salaries were moved back to £90,000 after the firm slashed them to £85,000 in 2009 (full story).
Meanwhile, lawyers with one year’s post-qualification experience (PQE) have had their pay upped from between £90,000-95,950 to £100,000 while two year PQEs will receive between £103,000 -£112,000, an average increase of almost 10 per cent.
A top-earning eight-year PQE associate at the firm will now earn between £170,000 to £176,000.
The news follows Shearman & Sterling increasing its pay rates across the three-tier merit-based structure, bringing the rival US firm’s NQ solicitor pay to £78,000. Meanwhile, junior associates’ pay at the firm will also now range from £78,000 to £108,000, compared to £73,000 to £95,000 last year (read more).
Despite these pay rises, both US firms still lag Bingham, which shocked the market last year when it was revealed that its NQ salary rise was £100,000 (full story).