Newly qualified (NQ) lawyers at US law firm Akin Gump are set to see their salaries surge to new highs of £179,000 a year, after the firm amended the exchange rate it uses to calculate its London lawyers pay packages to reflect Britain’s weaker pound.
The exchange rate switch up will effectively mean NQ lawyers in Akin Gump’s London offices will receive a £15,000 pay rise, as they see their salaries jump from £164,000 to £179,000 each year, Akin Gump confirmed to City A.M.
The salary boosts come after the Washington D.C. headquartered law firm lowered the exchange rate it uses to calculate UK salaries from its previous April conversion rate of £1 = $1.3109 to its new rate of £1 = $1.2005, according to legal news website RollOnFriday.
The boost comes after Akin Gump opted to calculate its London lawyers salaries by converting them from US dollars – based on three-month exchange rate averages.
The decision has in turn seen salaries paid out to lawyers throughout the law firm’s London offices bolstered by the drop in the value of the Great British Pound.
The pay hike comes in the midst of a battle for legal talent amongst the City of London’s largest firms, which has seen the UK’s top-ranking law firms forced to offer their staff increasingly high salaries, in their efforts to win over staff.
The influx of high-paying US law firms into the City of London’s market for legal services has also placed pressure on the UK’s top-ranking players to offer salaries that match those offered by the likes of Akin Gump.
The talent war has in recent months seen Magic Circle law firms Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Clifford Chance forced to offer top end salaries of £125,000 a year.