Cleary NQs to break £100k pay barrier

US firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton’s newly qualified lawyers in its London office will be taking home in total more than £100,000 this year.

The news comes days after US rival Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson announced that it would keep its associate bonuses in line with market rates, offering between $30,000 and $65,000 (£15,353 – £33,265).

Although Cleary does not release its bonus figures, sources at the firm confirmed that the total renumeration for newly qualifieds will be over £100,000, once their bonus is factored in.

The official line is that a bonus of around £16,000 is yet to be finalised, but the bonus will appear in December pay packets, said sources.

Base salaries for newly qualifieds at Cleary are £84,000. This means a bonus of over £16,000 would bring Cleary broadly in line with other US firms that announced their bonuses last week. This would also mean that Cleary is offering its associates the same bonus as last year.

In addition to Fried Frank, Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, Cravath Swaine & Moore and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison all announced associate bonuses starting at $30,000 for its ‘class of 2006, ’ the equivalent to newly qualifieds.

For all the firms involved, this meant a static result on last year. Sullivan & Cromwell did not announce their bonus range, confirming only that it was broadly in line with the New York market rate.

Cleary moved to raise associate salaries in March, from £74,000. This time last year, a newly qualified lawyer at Cleary would have taken home £90,000 in total.

A spokeswoman for the firm confirmed that associates in Cleary’s New York and London offices are given the same bonus.