London BigLaw not paying market

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London BigLaw not paying market

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 13, 2016 5:32 pm

Hi all

I have an offer from a V100 firm in London - many V100 firms have matched their London salaries with the US market ($180k which is around £140k currently (prior to this year most US firms in London started at around £90 - £100k but this year matched with the home market)). However the firm I have an offer from is still at around £90k. That is a stark contrast to me.

Anyone have any insight into the London market salaries and whether some firms have just been delayed in upping?

jarofsoup

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Re: London BigLaw not paying market

Postby jarofsoup » Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:46 pm

Are you a solicitor or a US Attorney in London. My impression was solicitors got paid less.

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Re: London BigLaw not paying market

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:18 am

Anonymous User wrote:Hi all

I have an offer from a V100 firm in London - many V100 firms have matched their London salaries with the US market ($180k which is around £140k currently (prior to this year most US firms in London started at around £90 - £100k but this year matched with the home market)). However the firm I have an offer from is still at around £90k. That is a stark contrast to me.

Anyone have any insight into the London market salaries and whether some firms have just been delayed in upping?

The pound just dropped like a rock in the last 6 months, starting with the BREXIT vote. Two years ago it was 1.7 dollars to the pound. Last June it was 1.5. Now it's 1.24. You're seeing the impact of that.

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Re: London BigLaw not paying market

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:35 am

jarofsoup wrote:Are you a solicitor or a US Attorney in London. My impression was solicitors got paid less.


A UK solicitor. No that's not the case at my firm, US attorneys and UK solicitors are on the same scale. I'm pretty sure it would be illegal in the UK to not pay people who do the same work the same amount.

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Re: London BigLaw not paying market

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:37 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Hi all

I have an offer from a V100 firm in London - many V100 firms have matched their London salaries with the US market ($180k which is around £140k currently (prior to this year most US firms in London started at around £90 - £100k but this year matched with the home market)). However the firm I have an offer from is still at around £90k. That is a stark contrast to me.

Anyone have any insight into the London market salaries and whether some firms have just been delayed in upping?

The pound just dropped like a rock in the last 6 months, starting with the BREXIT vote. Two years ago it was 1.7 dollars to the pound. Last June it was 1.5. Now it's 1.24. You're seeing the impact of that.


I know why it's easier for them to pay matching now - but i am just wondering why some firms have matched and other, very similar, firms (who matched instantly in the US market) have not matched.

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Re: London BigLaw not paying market

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:47 pm

When you say V100, what sort of V100?

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Re: London BigLaw not paying market

Postby lawlorbust » Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:When you say V100, what sort of V100?


The sort that's ranked between one and a hundred, I assume?

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Re: London BigLaw not paying market

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:When you say V100, what sort of V100?


towards the top end.

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Re: London BigLaw not paying market

Postby barkschool » Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:38 am

Anonymous User wrote:
jarofsoup wrote:Are you a solicitor or a US Attorney in London. My impression was solicitors got paid less.


A UK solicitor. No that's not the case at my firm, US attorneys and UK solicitors are on the same scale. I'm pretty sure it would be illegal in the UK to not pay people who do the same work the same amount.


On the websites for many euro firms the pay is much less for a U.K. Associate than a US one.

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Re: London BigLaw not paying market

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:
jarofsoup wrote:Are you a solicitor or a US Attorney in London. My impression was solicitors got paid less.


A UK solicitor. No that's not the case at my firm, US attorneys and UK solicitors are on the same scale. I'm pretty sure it would be illegal in the UK to not pay people who do the same work the same amount.


My understanding is that US associates are routinely, though not universally, paid on a different scale than UK-qualified associates, even before COLA adjustments. Almost definitionally US and UK-qualified attorneys do no do the same work, because they are generally doing the legal work associated with the countries they are barred in. Legalcheek reports on UK salaries. NALP and Abovethelaw have some info on US-qualified London and international salaries, but it's not conveniently collected.

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Re: London BigLaw not paying market

Postby favabeansoup » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:53 am

What London firms are paying 140k pounds/yr to U.K. solicitors?

I have kind of heard of some firms paying UK market rates to both U.K. and US associates, but I've never heard of any London firm paying US market rates across the board for both US and U.K.

That would seem crazy to me, why would any U.K. qualified solicitor work for a U.K. firm when the pay difference is 40-50k pounds a year

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Re: London BigLaw not paying market

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:00 am

Some American firms pay UK Associates on the US scale. http://www.legalcheek.com/the-legal-cheek-top-firms-most-list/

There's a lot of debate in the London legal scene about the trade offs between US and UK firms. There are lots of stereotypes about US firms being sweatshops, hence the inflated pay for UK associates. There are also notions about partnership potential being much higher at UK firms. There's also a lot of debate about whether the advantages of expected hours and partnership odds are still true or ever were. But one thing that is for sure is that US firms pay a ton more, at least on the high end, to UK associates.

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Re: London BigLaw not paying market

Postby favabeansoup » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:Some American firms pay UK Associates on the US scale. http://www.legalcheek.com/the-legal-cheek-top-firms-most-list/

There's a lot of debate in the London legal scene about the trade offs between US and UK firms. There are lots of stereotypes about US firms being sweatshops, hence the inflated pay for UK associates. There are also notions about partnership potential being much higher at UK firms. There's also a lot of debate about whether the advantages of expected hours and partnership odds are still true or ever were. But one thing that is for sure is that US firms pay a ton more, at least on the high end, to UK associates.


Well I'll be damned. But for OP, I don't see "many" V100 firms jumping to 140k there. There's Akin and KE at 147, then only 5-6 firms that have jumped significantly from the 90-100k average (ranging from 110-125). There's just as many US firms paying 90-100 or even below.

Is the information on here not up to date with the current salaries for many of the offices?

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Re: London BigLaw not paying market

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:31 am

It's also worth pointing out that US firms as a rule take far fewer trainees who will eventually become UK qualified associates. Milbank and Akin take a handful (4-5 a year), so the number of associates the firms actually have to pay out high salaries to is relatively small. This is likely known or assumed by OP already. Juniors in the US can take the lockstep for granted, but I suppose knowing whether current salary information is up to date may be more complicated in the UK context. But if you assume that salary increases are driven either by competition for prestigious applicants, or by just keeping up with the Jones, then it seems unlikely that US firms will feel compelled to raise UK salaries. US firms already have a spread of salaries they pay to newly qualified UK attorneys, so there's no sticking out like a sore thumb like a firm would do paying anything but lockstep in the US. So few applicants are actually accepted at the high end of the market that it doesn't seem like there would be a shortage of applicants to split between firms willing to pay the top level salary. And, given Brexit, the US election, and general uncertainty in markets it would be surprising if a firm would choose now to be aggressive in raises all of its own accord. Just my two cents.

Edit: Oh, and just a global comment for OP, comparing firms in the V100 is a tortured affair in these threads, full of hand-wringing and insecurity, but the general consensus is that thinking in terms of V100, V50, or V-anything obscures important differences in firm size, profitability, business strategy and culture, so it should not be surprising that they would behave differently in all sorts of matters, including non-US pay.

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Re: London BigLaw not paying market

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 16, 2016 12:53 pm

Thanks all, some interesting insights.

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Re: London BigLaw not paying market

Postby pancakes3 » Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:01 pm

debt/area of practice?

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Re: London BigLaw not paying market

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:34 pm

Debt of $25k (but govt loans pay-back schemes are very reasonable) and area of practice is M&A/corp

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Re: London BigLaw not paying market

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 18, 2016 2:07 am

The U.K. market is different. I'm a U.K. solicitor working for a US firm and the pay scales are much less uniform than in US biglaw. Amongst the US firms in London, there is some range, but generally they pay more than Magic Circle and other top tier English firms. But in terms of prestige for many English lawyers, despite the lower pay, people choose magic circle. That is gradually changing but for now, those firms can get away with paying substantially less because people are still happy to work there. The lower ranked English firms either match magic circle pay or pay less. They don't consider themselves to be competing with US firm pay scales. Also just worth noting that one reason English firms pay less is because lawyers typically do not have the huge student debts that US lawyers have. All solicitors in the top firms will have had their law school paid for by the firm, plus stipend.
For an accurate review of salaries in London firms see here (ignore trainee salaries and start at qualification salary) http://www.chambersstudent.co.uk/law-fi ... s-compared



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