Slaughters cuts annual bonuses amid market uncertainty

Slaughter and May has announced a cut to its bonuses for associates, trainees and support staff, citing market uncertainty for the decision.

Graham White
Graham White

It marks the second year running in which the City leader has reduced the bonus it pays trainees, who will this year receive a 2.5 per cent salary top-up, down on 4 per cent for first-year trainees and 6 per cent for second-years last year (31 October 2012).

Associates also see a reduction in their bonuses, which drop from 8 per cent to 5 per cent, while support staff will take home a 2.5 per cent bonus, a reduction on the 3 per cent figure last year.

It means associates with three years’ post-qualification experience (PQE) will receive bonuses of £4,300, while two-year PQEs will take home £3,825, one-year PQEs £3,450 and newly qualified lawyers £3,075.

This compares with last year’s bonuses of £6,880, £6,080, £5,520 and £4,920 respectively.

Trainee bonuses this year are £1,075 for second years and £950 for first years, compared with £2,580 and £1,520 last year.

Slaughters executive partner Graham White, who is set to retire from the firm early next year, said: “We believe that this strikes the right balance between rewarding hard work and maintaining our prudent approach to reflect continuing uncertainty throughout the global economy.”

The firm will pay the annual bonuses on 31 December. The news comes amid a consultation round for secretaries that sees 28 jobs under threat, with the process set to be finalised imminently (2 October 2012).

Earlier this year the firm froze most of its associate pay bands and scrapped its twice-yearly pay review for lawyers in favour of an annual one in the spring (30 April 2012). It continues to review its staff bonus payments every autumn.