Paul Hastings raises London NQ salaries to £90k

US firm Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker has matched Weil Gotshal & Manges by upping its London newly qualifieds’ salary to £90,000.

London NQs at Paul Hastings have benefitted from a 20 per cent rise in base salary in the move, which London managing partner Mark Eagan defined as an attempt by the firm to stay at the top of the market.

“There has been confusion recently about the so-called ‘New York’ salary. We’ve now given clarity. We’re committed to being in London and we’ve committed to our associates to always be at the top of any market we’re in. We moved to a sterling-based salary around five years ago and £90,000 is where we need to be,” said Eagan.

In real terms, this is £10,000 more than the firm’s New York associates receive in base salary, without considering bonuses.

There are only about five NQs in London but the firm is looking to aggressively hire across the board, including NQs. As revealed in The Lawyer (9 July), the firm is looking to make London its second-biggest office in its network, which would mean a headcount of over 180 lawyers. It currently has 40 lawyers.

Paul Hastings’ salary hike follows that of Weil Gotshal & Manges (£90,000) last month (The Lawyer, 18 June). But Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Latham & Watkins still pay the most generous NQ salaries out of the US firms in London, at £92,000 and £96,000 respectively.

Trainees in Paul Hastings’ London office will also get a pay rise, with first-seat trainees receiving £40,000, rising to £45,000 for second-seat. September will mark the first time the London office will have second-seat trainees.

In addition to the pay rise, Paul Hastings has decided to contribute 5 per cent of associates’ salary to pensions- either individual or a firm pension, as associates prefer.