Olswang backtracks on NQ pay freeze

Olswang has backtracked on its decision not to raise its newly qualified solicitor (NQ) salary band, having announced last month that NQ pay would be frozen at last year’s levels (The Lawyer, 12th May).

NQ salary has now been hiked at a below inflation rate of 2.4 per cent, bringing the salary level to £63,500, the firm announced today (11 June).

While Olswang upped the pay bands for associates with post qualification experience (PQE) of between one and five years, it joined the likes of Herbert Smith by refusing to hike NQ pay. As reported on TheLawyer.com, Herbert Smith decided to freeze pay bands at all levels in light of the prevailing business climate (The Lawyer, 30th April).

A spokesperson for the firm said: “Salaries are constantly under review, you’ve got to be realistic about staying competitive.”

The rate of growth Olswang has now put in place for its NQ lawyers is roughly in line with the average increase across its PQE bands.

Those with two years’ PQE experienced the greatest rise at 4 per cent followed by those on three years, who received a 3.7 per cent rise. Associates with one year’s experience received a 1.5 per cent rise.

Trainee solicitor pay will be reviewed in September.

Olswang was unavailable for comment.