CC, Freshfields and Linklaters freeze associate salaries

Linklaters freeze associate salaries” />
Magic circle rivals Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters have decided not to follow the lead of Allen & Overy (A&O) and will not be hiking their associate salaries.

Freshfields’ associates were told of the firm’s decision earlier this month. The next pay review is scheduled for spring 2007.

Junior lawyers of up to two years’ PQE, however, have biannual pay reviews. Associates with two years’ PQE have seen their pay increase from £70,000 to £72,000.

A Freshfields source said November’s review was in response to A&O’s decision to raise associate salaries by 20 per cent. “This year we will not be carrying out a salary review as a market point,” said the source.

A spokesperson from Clifford Chance said: “We always watch what the market’s doing, but we currently have no plans to make a change.”

Meanwhile, a Linklaters spokesperson said: “We’re committed to paying our lawyers competitive salaries, and therefore review them each year in line with the market to ensure that we remain competitive.”

As first reported on (12 October), A&O surprised the market after launching a radical shake-up of associate salaries.

The package scrapped the current London bonus system and saw a hike in pay of 15 per cent across the board for both London associates and trainees from the beginning of November. Associate pay will now be linked to the value of a partner profit point, which last year was worth £24,008.