Quinn Emanuel Raises the Bar: New Pay Hike £180,000 for Junior Lawyers in London

In the latest move to make it an even more attractive employer for the brightest young lawyers in London, top US litigation practice Quinn Emanuel has announced a huge increase in pay for its junior lawyers – with a new base salary of £180,000, up from its current base of around £150,000. According to Law.com this is an 18% increase.

Quinn Emanuel is considered to be the “#1 Most Feared Law Firm in the World,” with its premier client representation, representing high-profile clients like Google, FIFA, Elon Musk, and FTX. The increment in salaries comes as the firm tries to retain its best and most promising talents in a rather aggressive talent market in London. Alex Gerbi, co-managing partner of Quinn Emanuel in London, said the pay rise was designed to “reward our outstanding lawyers” and demonstrated the firm’s commitment to bringing in the very best new lawyers.

This is all playing out as other major law firms in the UK, almost exclusively in the Magic Circle, are raising their own pay scales. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has just increased its newly-qualified lawyer starting salary by 20%, to around £150,000, close to what Quinn Emanuel was previously paying.

The salary increases are part of a wider trend in rising pay at top City law firms as they compete to match the financial firepower of their US rivals. Even with similar percentage salaries increased last year, however, matching American rivals will be tough for UK-based firms. Quinn Emanuel said its annual revenue for the year ending 2023 had leapt past $2bn, marking a 26 percent increase, Legal Business reported on 23 February 2024. However, such rapid growth has also seen the firm undergo its biggest leadership shake-up. In 2022 the firm saw its first-ever tandem of two co-managing partners join founder John Quinn to run the firm.

In a city where competition for legal talent is heating up, the current raise represents the latest step in an ongoing and increasingly fierce war for talent among London’s top law firms, each trying to outbid the other in attracting the most promising new lawyers to their ranks.

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