Travers Smith Braithwaite has changed its assistant salary bands, reducing them by up to £3,000 in some instances
No associates will suffer pay cuts, but when they move up a band they will receive less than previously earned by assistants with the same length of service. Travers partners claim the firm was overpaying in the first place and has made the reductions to reflect rival firms' levels of associate pay. The firm said its salaries are now comparable with rival high-profit City firms'. Managing partner Chris Carroll said: "It's always been our policy to lead the 'golden circle' and sit just under the magic circle on assistant pay. We think the readjustment is fair." A newly qualified lawyer at a magic circle firm could expect £50,000 with a half-yearly increment of around 10 per cent. One Travers partner said: "In the last year's frenzy we slightly overshot the mark. This year we've nudged some, but not all, of the bands back." It is understood that the cuts range between zero and £3,000. Carroll declined to comment on which bands have been hardest hit and strongly denied that the changes were part of a cost-cutting exercise in response to a tougher economic climate.