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A law firm that boasts of being the 'most-feared' in the world is boosting pay for newly qualified London lawyers to $225,500

Polly Thompson   

A law firm that boasts of being the 'most-feared' in the world is boosting pay for newly qualified London lawyers to $225,500
  • US law firm Quinn Emanuel has upped pay for junior lawyers to $225,500.
  • The 18% increase comes amid fears of a talent war between London's top legal firms.

Quinn Emanuel, one of the largest global litigation firms, just made a major play to attract young talent in London.

The firm is increasing base annual salaries for young lawyers to $225,500 (£180,000), according to a statement published on Friday.

The raise marks an 18% jump from the previous base salary of around $190,000 (£150,000) offered by the firm, Law.com reported.

According to the statement, salaries will also increase "substantially" as seniority increases.

Quinn Emanuel, which has boasted of being voted the "#1 Most Feared Law Firm in the World," specializes in representing businesses in corporate disputes. It has numerous high-profile clients, including Google, FIFA, Elon Musk, and FTX.

The salary increase for newly qualified solicitors is to "reward our outstanding lawyers," explained Alex Gerbi, the firm's co-managing partner in London.

It also reflects "the firm's commitment to continuing to attract the very best new talent," said Gerbi, hinting at the intensifying battle for talent brewing in London's legal industry.

Last week, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, one of five highly prestigious, corporate-focused UK law firms known as the Magic Circle, also pushed up starting salaries.

The London-based firm announced it would increase base pay for newly qualified lawyers by 20% to around $190,000 (£150,000), close to Quinn Emmanuel's salary offering before the latest hike.

The moves will likely pressure other top law firms in London, including Magic Circle members Slaughter and May, Linklaters, A&O Shearman, and Clifford Chance.

Last year, most of the firms also hiked salaries by similar levels to remain competitive with each other; however, it's a challenge for the UK-based enterprises to keep pace with the deep pockets of their US counterparts.

In 2023, Quinn Emanuel reported a 26% jump in annual revenue to more than $2 billion, according to Legal Business.

But the firm has also faced a turbulent few years. In 2022, a shake-up in leadership became the talk of legal circles when two comanaging partners were installed to serve alongside founder John Quinn — the first time in the firm's 37 years that he has shared power over the litigation giant.

"I have a growing recognition that this enterprise is huge and that I'm missing things," Quinn previously told Business Insider.

Quinn Emanuel did not immediately respond to a request for comment from BI.


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