Slaughter and May has frozen its associate pay after introducing a wave of benefits last December.

The firm confirmed it would not be reviewing associate salary scales at this time, despite saying last year that it would assess salaries in May as per usual.

A Slaughters spokesperson said: “Following our annual salary review, our associates will move up to the next level in the firm’s salary scales. Associate salary scales were increased on 1 January 2017 following a major review of employee reward and recognition, and therefore we are not proposing a further change at this time.”

They added: “It is our intention, however, to keep our scales under review. Our associate remuneration is distributed in a way that mirrors the flat lockstep of the firm’s partnership and reflects the strong collective belief in Slaughter and May’s distinctive no billable hours targets culture.”

The freeze means associate pay bands have not changed, although lawyers will still see an increase in their pay packets as they transition from one PQE level to the next.

In December, Slaughters increased associate salaries by around 8 to 10 per cent.

Newly-qualified lawyers now receive £78,000 instead of £71,500, while associates with one year PQE pick up £87,000 instead of £79,000. The salary for lawyers with three years PQE broke the £100,000 mark for the first time.

Trainee rates were not changed and were also due to be reviewed last month. First-year trainee rates last rose in 2016 when Slaughters bumped up rates by nearly 4 per cent from £41,000 to £42,500.

The December changes formed part of a broader benefits overhaul, as the firm introduced sabbaticals and flexible working options for its associates.

The changes mean associates will be able to take a four week paid sabbatical when they reach three years’ post-qualified experience (PQE).

They will also be able to work from home one day a week.