London: NQ salary wars escalate

London’s legal pay war continues to escalate with American law firms giving newly qualified solicitors in the City in excess of £153,000.

Houston-based Vinson & Elkins announced starting pay of £153,400 last month – an increase of four per cent in a year. The firm has now taken the top spot for NQ pay in London.

The list is dominated by American firms, with none of the magic circle featuring in the top 20. Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan last week announced that NQs would earn £146,000, an increase of £11,000 in a year.

The five top-paying firms in the City for NQs are Sidley Austin (£148,000), Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld (£145,000), Kirkland & Ellis (£145,000) and Latham & Watkins (£145,000).