The plummeting value of sterling means some young associates in the London office of Kirkland & Ellis are now being paid more than a quarter of a million pounds a year. But a UKIP MEP has told RollOnFriday a pay cut is imminent.

According to inside sources, associates at the London office of the US firm have been celebrating after the referendum vote tanked the pound, increasing their pay by up to £24,000 overnight.

As revealed by RollOnFriday, Kirkland's City lawyers enjoyed a huge 25% raise in early June when it matched their salaries to New York rates. The firm also pegged their salaries to the dollar, which means that their monthly pay in sterling fluctuates month-by-month depending on the exchange rate. Initially, the rate was 1.4 dollars to the pound. But in the wake of the Brexit vote, sterling has plunged to approximately 1.2 dollars to the pound. Which means Kirkland's London associates are now absolutely raking it in:

   US pay
 UK pay: June
 UK pay: August
 NQ  $180,000
 1PQE  $190,000  £130,500  £146,500
 $210,000  £144,500
 3PQE  $235,000  £161,500  £181,000
 4PQE  $260,000   £179,000  £200,500
 5PQE  $280,000  £192,500  £216,000

If forecasts that the pound will stay low are accurate, in the space of 12 weeks 4PQEs will graduate from a salary of £128,000 prior to their June raise, to £216,000 as 5PQEs. Add in the bonus of, RollOnFriday understands, £60,000 ("more for most"), and that's a £130,000 salary bump to over £250,000.

    A Kirkland associate with her favourite read

A giddy associate at Kirkland told RollOnFriday that friends at other US firms where the London pay is fixed in sterling, "have been left massively short changed". Whereas at Kirkland there is "plenty of extra dosh for extra magnums". Apparently there's been "a lot of mocking of friends at magic circle firms", including "a whip-round for a Freshfields associate so he could afford a beer".

A spokeswoman for Kirkland declined to comment. But Diane James MEP, UKIP's Justice and Home Spokesman, told RollOnFriday, "The pound has always fluctuated against other currencies, whether they be the Euro, the dollar or the Vietnamese dong.". She warned, "This is nothing new, and as the UK economy shows its inherent metal [sic] post Brexit the same lawyers will find themselves with a pay cut". You heard it here first.
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Anonymous 12 August 16 08:13

It started at 1.35 so it's only slightly better than all the other US firms that fixed it at that rate.

Anonymous 12 August 16 09:34

Heh at having a whip round to buy an impoverished Freshfields associate a pint. Very wolf of wall st.

Anonymous 12 August 16 10:33

anon 08:08 - yes, who would care about salary raises at the top of the market. We are all in law for the love of the job, right?

Anonymous 12 August 16 11:41

Serious question (and likely to solicit a not-so-serious answer). What is so bad about working at K&E? Is the culture horrible - lots of bullying? Crap work? Everyone tells me to stay clear, and they are always recruiting so there must be some merit, but I have no idea why.

I see great pay, fast career progression and reasonable exit opportunities. I work magic circle and I do 2500 billable hours a year. For someone like me K&E seems perfect, no?

Anonymous 12 August 16 12:18

At anon - 10.41: "I see great pay, fast career progression and reasonable exit opportunities. I work magic circle and I do 2500 billable hours a year. For someone like me K&E seems perfect, no?"

Agree with all of that. I think some of the points you raise are hyperbole spurred on by MC firms to deter ppl like yourself. You'll work v.hard but the culture is fine and, as you say, the rewards, career progression and exit opportunities make it worthwhile. Not everybody is a prick as the legal press / MC propaganda would have you believe...

Anonymous 12 August 16 12:21

Christ, please can someone list all of the US firms that do not fix their exchange rate? I need to draw up a shortlist of potential NQ destinations STAT