Cads’ NQ pay hike still leaves it trailing US rivals

Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft is boosting its newly qualified (NQ) lawyer salary by almost 7 per cent following its recent salary review.

Cadwalader, London offices
Cadwalader, London offices

The US firm has increased its pay for NQs to £80,000 from last year’s £75,000 rate. Associate rates for next year have not been disclosed.

The firm’s NQ pay still remains in the lower tier of the packages paid by US firms to junior lawyers. Bingham remains the highest payer for NQs in the City after confirming that it is maintaining its £100,000 salary for another year.

US firms Sullivan & Cromwell and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan come next, with each offering £97,500. Quinn Emanuel boosted its salary by 9 per cent, up from £90,000 last year, while Sullivan is yet to announce if it will raise its salary.

Weil Gotshal & Manges’ NQ salary was upped by 8 per cent last year, from £90,000 to £97,000. It also hiked its salary for those with one and two years’ PQE, raising the salaries by an average of almost 10 per cent.

While most US firms have yet to reveal their salary intentions for this year, they remain among the highest payers in the City.

As of last year Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Debevoise & Plimpton, Latham & Watkins and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom pay their NQs £95,000, £94,250, £96,000 and £94,000 respectively.

These rates are significantly higher than those paid by the magic circle. Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters and Slaughter and May all currently pay their NQs £61,500 a year.

This is some 20 per cent lower than at one of the poorer-paying US firms, Shearman & Sterling, which pays its NQs £78,000.