Shearman slashes NQ salaries by 8 per cent

Shearman & Sterling is slashing newly qualified (NQ) solicitor salaries by more than 8 per cent and is freezing trainee and associate pay in the UK, Asia and Middle East.

Shearman & Sterling is slashing newly qualified (NQ) solicitor salaries by more than 8 per cent and is freezing trainee and associate pay in the UK, Asia and Middle East.

Shearman, the first major US firm to announce associate pay freezes outside its home jurisdiction, is cutting its NQ rates from £80,000 to £73,000, meaning lawyers with one year’s post qualification experience will not move up to the next pay band in September 2009.

Second year trainee solicitors, meanwhile, will see their remuneration remain static at the first year rate of £39,000.

The firm’s global HR director Marcus Franks said in a statement: “We fully appreciate that this news will be disappointing for our people, however, like all other well-managed firms, we’re continuing to take the necessary steps to manage our business sensibly in the current economic environment.

“Nevertheless, we’re confident that we’ll remain highly competitive on compensation in the legal marketplace, both in the short and longer term.”

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer was the first major City firm to reverse its associate salary bands with all associates set to receive the same level of pay from May, despite gaining a year in post qualification experience (9 February).

The magic circle firm also cut its NQ rate, down from £66,000 to £59,000.