Top Law Firm Salaries Continue To Rise . . And The Sky Appears To Be The Limit

top law firm salaries

The Law Firm Salary Wars Continue . . Everywhere

Top law firm salaries and those from top law firms continue as Associates’ pay rates continue to go through the roof among US law firms and US-based London firms.

Milbank started the rise with their 200k pay rates for Associates in June, but others have followed.

In a pay scale released by legal blog AbovetheLaw, the other top US firms to match the pay increase for the 2020 class and including hours-based special bonuses include McDermott Will ($205,000 with $12,000 special bonus); Cadwalader ($202,000 and $12,000); Mintz ($200,000 ); Fenwick ($205,000 and $12,000).

These are significant figures, used to keep Associates ‘loyal’ to their firms in the post-pandemic world with business that remains booming for most big law firms.

However, the salary war is by no means confined to the United States top law firms. In London, the aspiration for young lawyers was to work at one of the prestigious Big Law firms in the magic circle, Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters and Slaughter and May.

But now the US top law firm salaries in London are attracting talented and ambitious graduates to their fold as Kirkland & Ellis, Latham & Watkins and others offer eye watering salaries, as we have reported.

Sidley Austin recently announced its pay scale for newly qualified solicitors who will earn a base salary of £148,500, (USD206,000) up 8 per cent from £137,500.

Major top law firms in Canada are also entering the pay wars with major salary payouts.

And recent reports also indicate that the search for legal talent is seeing Australian lawyers drawn from Australia to the US where they can earn two to three times their Australian earnings by moving to San Francisco or New York.

And Australian law recruiters are crossing the Tasman to recruit New Zealand lawyers where they can earn as much as 50 per cent in Australia.

Boutique Law Firm Salaries

But it is not just the top law firm salaries from Big Law that have been attracting attention. Boutique law firms have also been matching some of the USD205,000 figures and with generous bonuses too.

The Austin-based Reid Collins & Tsai have been one firm to jump on the salary bandwagon with the intention of attracting the very best legal talent and ‘treating them well’.

The demand for specialist lawyers and the firms prepared to pay for the talent continues unabated, with no sign of slowing it would seem.

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