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Sidley Austin hikes associate pay to secure Kirkland movers amid plans to launch in Munich

Sidley Austin is upping its game in the City by announcing it will increase the salary of all its London associates to at least £100,000.

The firm is also making plans to launch a new office in Germany to service some of the new clients it will be taking on.

The pay hike comes as part of the firm’s play to secure a team of associates arriving from Kirkland & Ellis, along with a six-partner team that was recruited in February.

Under the changes, newly qualified associates will receive £10,000 more to £100,000 from 1 May this year.

It is understood that one year post-qualification experience (PQE) associates will see wages rise from £95,000 to £105,000 while two years’ PQE will see pay packets increase from £105,000 to £115,000. Associates with three years’ PQE will take home £129,000, an increase of £14,000 more than before.

Sidley is also giving some of the new partners and the team of seven associates a signing-on fee of up to £100,000 each in addition to their salaries.

City private equity partners Erik Dahl, Christian Iwasko and Fatema Orjela alongside banking partner Bryan Robson, corporate partner Sava Savov and tax partner Oliver Currall quit Kirkland & Ellis in February to join Sidley Austin and improve its private equity offering.

Sidley is also in the process of launching a Munich office, mainly to service Dahl’s clients. Dahl – who served as an officer in the US Army earlier in his career – worked out of both London and Munich while at Kirkland.

The office would be the firm’s first base in Germany having axed its Frankfurt office in 2014 following a spate of partner exits that put the office under a review in 2013.