Legal Business Blogs

Linklaters the latest to match Cravath’s $180,000 associate pay in New York salary war

Linklaters has become the latest, and the last, of the Magic Circle firms in the US to match Cravath, Swaine & Moore’s $180,000 pay for first year associates in New York.

The firm said in a statement: ‘We confirm that Linklaters will be increasing US associate base salaries, in line with the new scale first announced by Cravath.’

White-shoe firm Cravath set the new $180,000 rate, up $20,000 on 2015, last month in a move that prompted rivals to follow suit. Linklaters’ closest UK rivals – Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance – have already confirmed they will match Cravath’s new pay for their New York lawyers.

The move means New York lawyers at Linklaters could be earning up to £33,000 more than their peers in London. The firm raised pay in London in March, with average pay for newly-qualified lawyers rising to £81,000 including bonus. High performers will on average earn £91,000 including bonus. This is up on the basic £68,500 salary newly-qualified lawyers at Linklaters earned in 2015.

The changes also saw Linklaters increase holiday days and entitled staff to work one day a week from home.

Some of the other US firms to boost pay include Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, Weil Gotshal & Manges and Cahill Gordon & Reindel.

Read more on salary wars in: ‘Guest post: US associate pay – welcome to the New Mediocre’