Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has increased its trainee and junior-level associate pay following a salary freeze, pushing second year post qualification experience (PQE) lawyers into a six digit sum.
The new pay bands will see year one and two trainees pocket an extra £2,000 each, totalling £42,000 and £47,000 respectively.
The Wall Street giant has pushed ahead of US competitors including Weil, Gotshal & Manges for first seat trainee pay, after seven years of holding salaries at 2007 levels.
Newly-qualified (NQ) and one-year PQE lawyers will see their wages go up by 4.1% to £96,000 from £92,233. Second-year PQE pay tips into six figures from £97,087 to £101,000, while third-year PQE wages increase from £105,825 to £110,000.
The rise in pay highlights the gap between US and even the highest paying UK firms. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, despite topping pay scales in its Magic Circle peer group by rewarding NQ and one-year PQE lawyers between £67,500 – £77,500, pays up to £28,500 less.
Cleary confirmed the pay rises are backdated to January 1, 2014.