Philadelphia catches the salary rise bug

Salary fever has spread from New York and is threatening to engulf East Coast neighbour Philadelphia.

An outbreak in the city was confirmed on Monday (13 February), when Wolf Block Schorr & Solis-Cohen increased its starting salary for first-year associates to $125,000 (£72,000).

The same day, Duane Morris announced that it would be raising first-year salaries, from $115,000 (£66,000) to $125,000 (£72,000), retroactive to 1 January.

Second-year associates at the firm will receive a minimum of $127,500 (£73,000), and third-years a minimum of $130,000 (£74,500).

Morgan Lewis & Bockius upped its first-year salary to $135,000 (£77,000) in Philadelphia and many other locations, and increased salaries for first-year associates in New York to $145,000 (£83,000).

The Morgan Lewis figure is the highest reported starting salary for a first-year associate in Philadelphia. The raise also applies to the firms’ associates in Princeton (New Jersey); Washington DC; Pittsburgh; Chicago; LA; San Francisco; Palo Alto, and Irvine (California).

The East Coast outbreak began in New York the week before last, when Sullivan & Cromwell raised associate salaries to $145,000 (£82,000) week.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett followed the same week, along with Davis Polk & Wardwell and Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy.