More US firms have matched the benchmark set by Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy by paying its newly qualified (NQ) associates £143,000 ($190,000) – as the competition to the UK’s traditional top firms continue to offer eye-catching salaries.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Kirkland & Ellis are the latest to have matched Milbank’s increase, including in their London offices. The salary is calculated by determining the sterling equivalent of a US annual pay of $190,000. The new $190,000 rate has also been introdudced at Debevoise & Plimpton.

Another US firm, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has boosted pay for its newly qualified by £10,000. NQ solicitors will now be paid £125,000 with mid-level to senior associates earning between £225,000 to £245,000.

Almost every US firm with an office in London now pays its NQ solicitors more than £100,000. UK-headquartered magic circle firms Clifford Chance and Freshfields have increased salaries for their US offices, but those have not been pegged to the dollar.

In the UK, pay at the magic circle firms now lags some way behind. The highest paying magic circle firm for first year qualified associates is Clifford Chance which offers around £87,000.

The latest changes will come into effect on 1 July.