Arent Fox joins US associate salary rises

Arent Fox is the latest non-New York firm to bow to pressure to increase salary for associates.

The Washington DC-based firm has moved to raise pay for its newly qualified associates to $145,000 (£74,000), from $135,000 (£69,000).

But Arent Fox, which also has offices in New York and Los Angeles, will be matching New York rates set by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett on 22 January ( Its most junior associates in Manhattan will receive $160,000 (£82,000). Los Angeles-based associates will receive the same lower rate as their DC counterparts.

It is the same story at many big firms across the US, with $15,000 (£7,600) differentials in associate pay at firms with offices both in and outside New York.

Most firms headquartered in centres such as Chicago and Washington DC, like Sidley Austin and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, are offering $145,000 to the majority of their first year associates, but bumping that rate to $160,000 for New York-based junior lawyers.

Atlanta-headquartered King & Spalding announced that its most junior New York associates would receive $160,000, but said it would not raise rates at its five other offices, including London and Dubai.

DLA Piper is even more complicated. Its American arm is offering four different pay scales depending on location. These range from one starting at $125,000 for associates in Atlanta and Tampa, to a New York rate starting at $160,000.