Newly-qualified (NQ) solicitors’ salaries at Osborne Clarke have taken a hit as a result of firmwide measures imposed to help it weather the Covid-19 crisis.

A reduction of about 7 per cent will affect NQ salaries in London, Reading and Bristol. They will go down respectively from £71,000 to an estimated £66,000; from £54,000 to £50,000; and, in Bristol, from £52,000 to £48,000.

The same goes for trainee salaries, which are above the £30,000 pay threshold in every office. Last month, Osborne Clarke said it was cutting employee pay by 7 per cent for anyone earning £30,000 or more, although the cut would not be applied if it also dragged pay below that figure.

The 2020 trainees are set to start in September without deferrals, upon completion of a virtual induction process. The firm is currently running client simulation exercises in which students will have access to the firm’s systems to solve problems.

A spokesperson for the firm said: “Our autumn NQ round is in progress at the moment, and we’re working to the same timeframes as last year’s process and not deferring any decisions. Our aim remains to retain as many talented NQs as possible, and we have advertised more jobs than trainees qualifying.  We will not be deferring any start dates.”

On the salary cuts, she added: “Our NQ salary rates remain at the same level as last year but are subject to the agreed 7 per cent deduction.”

Osborne Clarke has enacted a set of cost-cutting measures to protect the business. UK partners have been subject to reductions in pay, alongside a deferral of 75 per cent of their quarterly profit distributions.