Clifford Chance defers partner profits and freezes salary reviews in wake of virus

By on

Follows similar financial measures by magic circle counterparts

Clifford Chance has taken a number of steps to mitigate the financial impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, including deferring partner distributions and freezing salary reviews.

The magic circle giant confirmed it will be paying staff bonuses, although some may be delayed. It is not planning on furloughing staff.

A spokesperson for the firm said: “We are a strong and resilient organisation, with over five years of robust global growth behind us. Our teams are always a source of huge pride, they are fantastically talented, motivated and collaborative, and never more so since the virus has begun to spread.”

They added:

“Over the coming months our aim is to keep these teams together and to work shoulder to shoulder with our clients who need our support now more than ever.”

The 2020 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Clifford Chance becomes the final member of the magic circle to go public with its financial measures in response to the pandemic.

Linklaters suspended partner profit distributions and delayed salary reviews earlier this month, while Allen & Overy made “adjustments” to partner payouts, froze salaries and deferred some bonuses.

Freshfields has taken similar steps, freezing pay across the firm and suspending its latest quarterly partner distributions. Slaughter and May, meanwhile, revealed that all discretionary distributions to partners had been suspended with the money “being retained in the business”.

Sign up to the Legal Cheek Newsletter


Jez Corbyn

Brothers! Sisters!

This is the NEW NORMAL!

A Universal Basic Income and income taxes of 75% is only a matter of time!

We will tax City greed to pay for higher salaries for teachers and nurses! A windfall tax on all property sales above £300,000!




Geremy Cordyn

Jezza’s gone, get over it.


Bifford Bantz 1PQE

This sucks



No, mass redundancies suck. A freeze for quite well paid people is a minor inconvenience.


CC Restructuring Associate

I completely get that we’re a counter-cyclical hedge department and we ride the coattails of the deal boys in the good times.

But it does still suck a bit to get a pay freeze for a year in which we’ll be fisted on hours.


CC Non-restructuring Associate

Did you get fisted on hours during the year just past @CC Restructuring Associate? I did. And am still busy. Also getting pay freeze.

Overall, we really cannot complain. Salaries not being cut, bonuses still being paid, no redundancies, no furloughs, still getting paid our six figure salaries. Moaning about a pay freeze (to be reviewed in October) in the present circumstances is the definition of first world problems.



First world problems indeed, several people at US firms are being booted out so do count yourselves as fortunate. It is in times like these that the culture at your firms shines through.



which US firms?


Comments are closed.

Related Stories