Dechert, Dentons and Addleshaw Goddard have become the latest law firms to boost UK associate salaries.
Dechert has raised salaries for newly qualified (NQ) lawyers by 16% from £95,000 to £110,000, while Dentons is set to raise its NQ rate from £70,000 to £75,000 from September this year – a 7% increase.
NQs at Addleshaws will see a 7.7% increase in pay, with the UK firm bumping up salaries from £65,000 to £70,000. This comes alongside a pay rise for trainees, who in their first year will now receive £39,500 – up from £38,000 – and £42,500 in year two, up from £41,000.
Dentons, meanwhile, is increasing trainee pay by £2,000 to £42,000 for first years and £46,000 for second years.
Dechert has opted to hold trainee pay steady at £45,000 for first years and £50,000 for second years.
This year’s associate pay round has seen increasing divergence in rates. Latham & Watkins, Kirkland & Ellis, Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld are among the US firms opting to match the pay scale initially set by Cravath Swaine & Moore, which puts the firms’ most junior qualified lawyers on $190,000 (roughly £148,000 converted at today’s rate, compared with £143,000 when the rises were initially announced).
In June, Quinn Emanuel set out its own UK pay scale after matching Cravath Swaine & Moore’s rates for its US associates, with first year associates receiving £125,000 a year and the class of 2010 receiving between £220,000-£245,000.
UK firms have been late confirming salary changes that normally take effect from 1 May. Last week Allen & Overy (A&O) confirmed salary increases for its NQ lawyers, with rates rising by roughly 2% to £83,000, while Clifford Chance raised its NQ rate by more than 4% to £91,000.
Freshfields, meanwhile, has raised its trainees’ salaries to £45,000, a 5% increase on last year’s salary of £43,000. Second-years can expect to take home £51,000, up more than 6% from £48,000.
Earlier this month, Taylor Wessing gave its NQs a £8,000 raise, taking their yearly pay to £71,000, while the month previous saw Herbert Smith Freehills offer NQs a base rate of £93,000 a year.