Allen & Overy becomes latest firm to match Cravath's US associate pay

Hudson_riverAllen & Overy (A&O) has boosted the salaries of its US associates to match the increase announced by Cravath Swaine & Moore earlier this month.

A&O first-year US associates (the equivalent of newly qualified (NQ) lawyers in the UK) will now receive $180,000 (£124,000) a year, matching the increase by Cravath and boosting the current salary level by $20,000 (£14,000).

A&O has set out an increased pay scale that culminates in an annual pay cheque of $315,000 (£215,000) for US associates that qualified in 2008.

The new rates will apply to all US-qualified associates on the current US pay scale at the firm, not just those in the US, including some in London and other international offices.

In a statement, the firm said that any associates who had qualified before 2008 would be notified individually of any changes to their salary.

A&O is the third magic circle firm to match Cravath’s associate salary rise. Both Freshfields and Clifford Chance have already told US associates that they would be receiving a pay rise.

The Cravath rise will see pay for lawyers in their eighth year climb to $315,000 (£216,000) – up $35,000 (£25,000) on current levels at the firm.

The move has been followed by a host of US firms, including Milbank, Weil Gotshal & Manges, Cahill Gordon & Reindel and Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison.

Legal Week’s US sister title reported on Wednesday that associates at Cooley, Debevoise & Plimpton, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, will also receive pay increases on the scale adopted by Cravath.

Kirkland & Ellis is also matching Cravath’s new pay scale in all of its offices up to those that qualified in 2010, who will receive $280,000.

Milbank, Paul Weiss, Cravath, Simpson Thacher and Cahill will all extend their New York rates to their new London offices as well.

It is not yet clear if the new pay rates at Weil and Skadden will also be paid to associates in London. Debevoise’s new rates will apply to lawyers on the US pay scale in all its offices, some of which are in London.

Cooley, meanwhile, is reviewing its London rates.