Latham leads latest US firms matching top-of-the-market associate rates in London

Latham & Watkins, Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld  have joined the growing list of law firms to have matched Cravath Swaine & Moore’s associate pay increases, with their UK lawyers also benefiting from the rate rises.

All three firms’ UK and US associates will now receive starting salaries of $190,000 (£143,000), rising to $350,000 (£266,000) .

Last week (19 June), Kirkland & Ellis joined the ranks of US firms matching Cravath’s pay increase for both US and UK associates. This followed US associate pay rises at magic circle firms Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and on Friday (22 June) Herbert Smith Freehills also raised pay for its New York associates to the new benchmark.

The associate pay rates for Latham, Fried Frank and Akin Gump are, from 1 July, as follows:

  • Class of 2017 – $190,000
  • Class of 2016 – $200,000
  • Class of 2015 – $220,000
  • Class of 2014 – $255,000
  • Class of 2013 – $280,000
  • Class of 2012 – $305,000
  • Class of 2011 – $325,000
  • Class of 2010 – $340,000
  • Class of 2009 – $350,000

Latham and Akin are also paying out summer bonuses ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.

Earlier this month, Milbank set a new standard for associate pay with salaries up to $330,000 (£248,000) for eight-year qualified lawyers. Cravath, however, bettered the pay increase, matching its salaries for its junior associates while also going beyond Milbank’s rates for mid-level and senior associates, and Milbank subsequently followed suit.

In the US, other firms to have matched Cravath’s payscale include Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Ropes & Gray, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Willkie Farr & Gallagher, Davis Polk & Wardwell, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Sullivan & Cromwell.

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