Davis Polk joins NQ £100k club

The recession certainly isn’t taking its toll on newly qualified lawyers working at US firms. The news that Davis Polk is joining the NQ 100k club with a London trainee scheme highlights the gulf between the wages paid at leading City firms with those at their US rivals.

While magic circle NQ lawyers are taking home between £60,000 and £65,000, their counterparts at US firms are earning almost double, with Davis Polk offering £50,000 for first year trainees.

These figures have tickled the interest of students tired of the free biros – Davis Polk has already chosen its cohort of six trainees to start in 2014 – but it’s caused quite the stir among in-house lawyers and those at other firms.

“As a 20-year PQE EMEA general counsel I’m not sure I can see any good reason to instruct a firm that pays its NQs that much,” said one reader.

Some rushed to the firm’s defence: “The anger and incredulity these pay offers seemingly provoke say more about the law of envy than anything else. Which is of course what drives City law.”

Having been the odd one out in its peer group in London for a long time, Davis Polk is wasting no time hoovering up the best. Others just wish it would stick to the free biros.

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