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Akin Gump pays NQs almost £150,000 to combat collapsing pound
28 October 2016
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Akin Gump has joined other US firms in pegging its UK lawyers' salaries to the dollar, handing them fresh pay rises.

In June they were given raises which were intended to match their salaries to the latest pay levels in the US. Newly qualified lawyers were put on £127,000, which was then the equivalent of the $180,000 paid to NQs in the States. But that was before the EU referendum and the nosediving pound, which has devalued £127k to the point where it is only worth $155,600. 

So Akin Gump has followed in the footsteps of fellow US firm Kirkland & Ellis, and will now pay its junior lawyers according to fluctuating exchange rates. Every quarter their salaries will be re-pegged against the dollar, which at the current rate would see an NQ receiving a staggering £146,800. 

  An Akin Gump NQ, every three months

Akin Gump's London Senior Partner James Roome told RollOnFriday the aim was to always "get as close as we can" to the US equivalent salaries. Take a look at what juniors at Akin Gump will be paid now if their salaries are pegged to the dollar at today's exchange rates, and how Kirkland's sterling pay packets have swollen since they were pegged to the dollar in August:

   US pay
 UK pay: June
 UK pay: August
UK Pay: October
 NQ  $180,000
 £139,000  £147,000
 1PQE  $190,000  £130,500  £146,500
 $210,000  £144,500
 £162,000  £171,000
 3PQE  $235,000  £161,500  £181,000  £191,000
 4PQE  $260,000   £179,000  £200,500  £212,000
 5PQE  $280,000  £192,500  £216,000  £228,500

When RollOnFriday broke news of the trend, UKIP MEP Diane James said, "as the UK economy shows its inherent metal [sic] post Brexit the same lawyers will find themselves with a pay cut". Until that wonderful day, though, it looks more likely to be a case of "extra dosh for extra magnums" and whip-rounds for associates in the Magic Circle.


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