Shearman, Weil Gotshal to hike US associates’ London allowances

Shearman & Sterling and Weil Gotshal & Manges are among a swathe of US firms reviewing their cost of living allowances (Colas) for US associates working in the UK, as the dollar remains weak against sterling.

Shearman has conducted an overhaul of its Colas, which will see US lawyers working in the City receive an “enhanced” package of allowances.

Included in its Colas, Shearman’s US-qualified associates are offered a housing allowance and a lump sum which contributes towards the change in living costs.

Weil Gotshal is also set to review what it offers its US associates who work in London. Lawyers at the New York firm are offered a lump sum of between $30,000 (£16,000) and $50,000 (£27,000), as well as a contribution towards their housing.

Both Shearman and Weil Gotshal assess each lawyer’s situation on an individual basis.

It is understood that a number of other leading US firms with offices in London are reassessing what they offer US lawyers based in the UK. The value of the dollar against sterling has continued to plunge since last year, and at the time of going to press was $1.85 against the pound.

Earlier this year, the weak dollar pushed US firms to review their compensation packages for London-based lawyers in an attempt to hedge against the disparity between currencies.