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Akin Gump revamps associate pay to reflect volatile pound post Brexit vote

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has reviewed its associate salaries and will pay junior lawyers according to exchange rates in light of a volatile pound. This means the firm’s London-based newly-qualified (NQ) lawyers will see salaries swell to $180,000, which at current exchange rates is nearly £150,000.

Associates and counsel at Akin Gump in the UK will receive the same salary as their US colleagues based on the variable exchange rates. The rate will be reviewed every quarter.

Akin Gump London senior partner James Roome said: ‘As a matter of policy, we aim to pay people the same in London as if they were in New York and in order to achieve that in today’s market conditions, we have decided to pay them by reference to prevailing exchange.’

In contrast, a NQ at Slaughter and May earns £71,500, while at Clifford Chance an NQ earns £85,000 before bonuses.

Roome (pictured) added: ‘A really important part of our strategy is to attract and retain the best people. We came later to the market than the English firms, they got here first, and maybe that’s part of the cost for us is to make sure we pay them well.’

Earlier this summer, Akin Gump followed Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, Weil Gotshal & Manges and Cahill, Gordon & Reindel in increasing pay for junior lawyers in the US, after Cravath, Swaine & Moore was the first to up associate and counsel pay packets from $160,000 to $180,000.