Quinn Emanuel Hikes Junior Lawyer Pay in London Amid Talent War

Quinn Emanuel raises London junior lawyer salaries to £180,000, an 18% increase, to attract and retain top talent. The move positions the firm as the joint highest-paying law firm in the UK, alongside Gibson Dunn.

author-image
Trim Correspondents
New Update
Quinn Emanuel Hikes Junior Lawyer Pay in London Amid Talent War

Quinn Emanuel Hikes Junior Lawyer Pay in London Amid Talent War

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, a leading US litigation firm, has raised the salaries of its junior lawyers in London to £180,000 ($225,500), an 18% increase from the previous base salary. The move comes as top UK law firms compete fiercely to attract and retain the best legal talent in the city's competitive market.

Why this matters: The escalating talent war in London's legal industry has significant implications for the global legal profession, as top firms compete to attract and retain the best lawyers. This trend is likely to drive up salaries and benefits across the industry, potentially leading to a shift in the way law firms operate and attract talent.

The salary increase, effective immediately, will also apply to more senior lawyers at the firm, with "substantial" raises as seniority increases. A newly qualified (NQ) lawyer at Quinn Emanuel will now earn £180,000, while a 1 PQE (post-qualification experience) associate will be paid £195,000, a 2 PQE associate £220,000, and a 6 PQE associate £225,500.

Alex Gerbi, Quinn Emanuel's London co-managing partner, stated, "We are very pleased to reward our lawyers for the contribution they make daily to the success of our practice in London... We believe there is no better home than our firm for the brightest and best disputes lawyers, and this decision aligns our salaries with the opportunities we offer them." UK Legal Week

The move positions Quinn Emanuel as the joint highest-paying law firm in the UK, alongside fellow US firm Gibson Dunn. It comes amid an intensifying battle for talent in London's legal industry, with other top firms, including Magic Circle member Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, also increasing starting salaries to £150,000 to remain competitive.

Quinn Emanuel, known for representing high-profile clients such as Google, FIFA, Elon Musk, and FTX, has reported a 26% jump in annual revenue to over $2 billion in 2023. The firm has been rapidly expanding its presence in London, hiring top-tier lawyers, and has also set up roots in Brussels and launched a Latin America practice, raising questions about its global ambitions.

The salary increase is part of a larger trend of rising salaries in the UK legal industry, as firms seek to retain top talent and deter lawyers from defecting to rivals. Other firms have also introduced incentives, including bonuses and flexible working hours, to attract and retain the best legal minds. As the battle for talent continues, Quinn Emanuel's move sets a new benchmark for junior lawyer salaries in London.

Key Takeaways

  • Quinn Emanuel raises London junior lawyer salaries to £180,000 (18% increase).
  • New salary benchmark for London's legal industry, competing for top talent.
  • Senior lawyers also receive "substantial" raises, up to £225,500.
  • Quinn Emanuel now joint highest-paying UK law firm, alongside Gibson Dunn.
  • Move part of a larger trend of rising salaries in the UK legal industry.