City elite refuse to rule out pay band freeze

City elite refuse to rule out pay band freezeCity firms have not ruled out a pay freeze come May, following decisions at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and White & Case to lock down their associate pay bands.

Herbert Smith, Clifford Chance, Allen & Overy, Ashurst and Lovells have all said they are yet to make a decision on salaries, but none of the firms ruled out a similar move.

Linklaters, which is in redundancy talks with staff as part of a plan to cut more than 200 jobs in London, is the firm least likely to follow Freshfields.

A spokesperson for Linklaters said: “We’re not looking at the same strategy as Freshfields. But we will be reviewing salaries and bonuses, as we do annually, in line with the market.”

On Monday Freshfields became the first City operation to reverse its associate salary bands (The Lawyer, 9 February)

A lawyer with two years PQE will stay on £73,000 in May, rather than moving automatically to the £86,000 band paid to an associate with three years PQE. Meanwhile the salary paid to newly-qualified (NQ) solicitors will drop from £66,000 to £59,000.

White & Case followed yesterday (see story).

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