Ropes & Gray keeps £130K pay package for NQs

updated on 21 July 2020

Ropes & Gray’s newly-qualified (NQ) solicitors will continue to earn a minimum of £130,000 this autumn, including the five trainees being retained who are qualifying in September 2020.

The firm increased its salary for London NQs to £130,000 plus bonus in February, making it one of the highest paying US firms. Ropes & Gray’s training programme is made up of 14 trainees, with seven graduates due to join the firm as normal in the autumn.

Meanwhile several magic circle firms have cut NQ salaries in a bid to weather the pandemic. This has widened the gap between themselves and US firms, which reportedly pay NQs in excess of £140,000. Following last year’s pay battle between City firms, which saw NQs’ pay increased to a minimum of £100,000, Clifford Chance, Allen & Overy, and Slaughter and May have all begun to reduce NQ pay.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, with its headquarters in Washington, and Debevoise & Plimpton, with headquarters in New York, have confirmed that they have no plans to reduce trainee or NQ pay.