Taylor Wessing to cut trainee pay and hours by 8%

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International player set to introduce flexi-working scheme in response to pandemic

Trainees at Taylor Wessing are to take an 8% cut in pay and hours as the firm looks to mitigate the financial impact of COVID-19.

The international firm is asking lawyers and staff to sign up to a new flexible working programme, which will see hours and salaries across its UK offices reduced by up to 20%.

Taylor Wessing confirmed first and second year trainees will take an 8% cut under the proposals. Legal Cheek‘s Firms Most List shows rookies receive a salary of £40,000 in year one, rising to £44,000 in year two.

The firm says the aim of the programme — which will begin on 1 June and run for six months — is to make the “proportionate cost reductions necessary” while supporting staff and preserving jobs. Its lowest paid staff will not be asked to participate in the programme.

The firm has also cut partner drawings by 20% and delayed salary reviews until the autumn. Bonuses relating to last year’s performance will still be awarded.

The 2020 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Taylor Wessing’s managing partner Shane Gleghorn said:

“We are fortunate that our business is well structured, our performance across a number of groups is robust and we continue to win great work. Despite the impact of the crisis, we anticipate that many areas of our business will remain busy, which is why having a flexible programme is so important.”

He added: “We believe collective agreement to these proposals will be the best way to enable Taylor Wessing to respond nimbly to the stresses and demands of the crisis, while continuing to support our people and provide excellent service to our clients.”

Last month the firm suspended the distribution of partner profits and furloughed staff whose roles were impacted by the move to remote working.

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Showround @ Bakers

Taylor Wessing are a disgrace. I hope those trainees leave when things up and students avoid this place like the plague


Stop complaining

Dentons are taking the same approach. SRA have confirmed that any more than 8% reduction in hours would lead to an extension of the training contract.

Seems fair enough. City trainees are overpaid anyway.



Assuming you are not a troll, you are a muppet



My firm has cut hours by 10% for trainees (20% for all other FE) and SRA have apparently confirmed qualification timings not affected by that drop. 8% seems an odd figure.


Showround @ Bakers

LOL you’re probably a highstreet partner who has City trainees making twice the amount you do. Your low IQ opinion is irrelevant boomer


Current Trainee - Stop Complaining

7 hours a day x 5 = 35 hours a week (we know this is crap in reality but that’s your contracted hours for which you are paid your salary and dont get overtime).

35 x 0.915 = 32 hours. So an 8.5% cut; if the training contract goes below 32 hours its treated as a part-time training contract and therefore a time extension will be needed.

Got to love Legalcheek articles. Bunch of choppas spouting shit about something they nothing about and attacking the statements from current trainees, who actually know what’s happening.



Skimming money from the trainees – that’s the way to ride out the corona storm!


Vac scheme offer holder

But what about SPB?! No information and only over month and a bit to go!


Yawning many Yawns

Are you the new Jeremy Corbyn commenter? Endlessly commenting the same thing every article? Go and get a hobby


SPB Grad Rec

Unfortunately your place on our vac scheme has been rescinded.

This decision was not easy. However, we have re-read your CV and noticed you failed to include your main hobby of spamming legal cheek articles.

Kind regards


Vac scheme offer holder

Nice try but a high ranking, super prestigious firm wouldn’t say that. Back to burger flipping and envy for you!!



Manners maketh people


Vac scheme offer holder

You’re right, I could’ve told them to F off like other commenters do but I didn’t, hence I’m very polite and thanks for flagging!!


So Taylor Wessing are …”fortunate that our business is well structured, our performance across a number of groups is robust and we continue to win great work. Despite the impact of the crisis, we anticipate that many areas of our business will remain busy…” but are still cutting salaries? Hahaha. What rubbish. Cutting trainee salaries is a disgrace.

Interesting the firms who seem to cutting pay and hours keep saying how well they are doing whereas the firms who have not had to make any cuts are strong and silent!



Lmao that’s nothing: at SPB trainees had their salaries cut by 15-20%!


True story

Nasty cuts at a nasty firm, no surprises here folks.


Nq elsewhere

Those trainees should all collectively say no to the pay cuts.

There won’t be many qualification jobs anyway.


Chad Chadington

There’s no positive way of looking at this for the trainees. Either they’re at a firm that thinks it appropriate to screw them out of a few thousand pounds, or they’re at a firm that is in such difficulty that it needs to. Either way, definitely escape ASAP. I can’t believe the most senior levels have no more fat to trim before they start cutting the salaries of the lowest paid fee earners.



Can anyone explain how a firm can cut a trainee’s hours?



Easy: ask SPB management.



Tell them they won’t get paid.

Thanks for listening to my TED talk.



Can anyone explain how a firm can cut a trainee’s hours?



They don’t. Trainees will be given just as much work and expected to complete it just as quickly. Let’s be honest, none of us actually stick to our contracted hours anyway, so an 8% cut on paper will not make any difference in reality.


Joe Bloggs

Surely they (along with others) are going to end up deferring their 2020 intakes..

Why the delay with announcing it..?


1st Year Trainee

At my firm (silver circle) an email was send round asking us to agree to a 20% reduction in salaries for the duration of the pandemic or warning that there would be redundancies. Clearly, we all agreed.

No commensurate reduction in hours (although my firm isn’t overly stringent on trainees targets anyway).

Bit shit.


Peter Parker

What firm? Not sure why people bother comment stuff like this but omit the most important detail.

And if you don’t feel comfortable naming and shaming probs shouldn’t have brought it up at all.



Asshursts brah, everyone knows



Lmao Assbusts, have heard the firm is falling apart, fee earners jumping ship left right centre


CC trainee

Clifford Chance is doing a similar thing to second year trainees – we aren’t getting the pay increase, we’re having to stay on our first year salary.



The trainees there are useless anyway


CC trainee

Be clear here. You have a responsibility to be correct and not misleading if you’re commenting anonymously on a public forum. Freezes to salary reviews until October 2020. Second seaters graduate from being a first year trainee to a second year trainee in September 2020. Due to the nature of when salary rises take place, trainees basically do not lose out.

Bonuses have been deferred. A maximum of £4k will be paid but you will have to wait for the remainder of your bonus in October 2020.

To be absolutely clear to students and prospective applicants browsing this site: No magic circle firm has cut pay.


Truth Siren

Dry your eyes mate



Truly pathetic… the partners have probably spent more on a single dinner than the 8% they’ll recoup from trainees



Partners are the business. Trainees are fungible and there is an oversupply. Law firms collapse at time of stress even with relatively small variations to profits compared to most businesses because it affects partner pay directly and, if a firm has idiosyncratic issues leverage the problem, the best profit earners tend to leave. The business school data are clear and consistent on this: when in trouble the best strategy for a firm is to protect partner profits as much as possible. Those as the bottom of the pyramid can be easily moved on and replaced in due course, that is easy in a jackpot remuneration model.



If you need to recoup £266 a month from your trainees then you need to go back to the drawing board with your business model



Keeps them on their toes. And there is NI too.



If you need to recoup £266 a month from your trainees then you need to go back to the drawing board with your business model



they’re not the only ones – dentons have done the same


CMS Associate

Trainees at TW still earning more than us at CMS though so not that bad for them



CMS lmao



At Kirkland there are no cuts or furlough at all and bonuses will be going ahead. Our Tier 1 restructuring practice is booming and PE is too as clients take advantage of low asset prices


Dr Freud

Once you’re done masturbating, I suggest you wipe down using a moist, warm towel.


Not Dr. Freud

What “J” has said is NOT a true reflection of what’s going on at Kirkland, I’m afraid! And I know that through people working at Kirkland. That’s the message the firm is trying to push to hide the sh*t show and cuts. I’ve also heard of stealth dismissals at the firm and that more are on the way.

I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s someone from Kirkland HR/Recruitment who wrote that.



“8% cut in hours” is actually an increased holiday allowance.



Not of you ain’t getting paid, dumbass


Unsuccessful Applicant

I remember playing this ‘Cosmic Cadet’ game as part of their application process. I had to shoot aliens and land rockets on planets. From this, my report told me I was reserved and had poor resilience. I can’t say I disagree. The whole experience was bizarre, though. Like some strange acrid trip into 23rd-century recruitment.



Considering how competitive it is getting trying to secure a TC and the increasing number of applicants, law firms are using the most bizarre ways to filter out applications.

The games are one weird example. But equally, the Watson glaser test, psychometric testing are just as bad as they don’t prove anything (in my opinion – and that is coming from someone who has passed every firm test I applied to)



The Watson Glaser test is based on the Voight Kampff test.



The new Linklaters recruitment approach is probably the worst one I’ve seen. No work experience section. Just an online form and Watson glaser rest which they base who to offer an interview



Gateley trainees have had a 20% pay cut (on top of a far lower salary), so this is hardly the biggest news


Final year trainee

Anyone know of any firms which have furloughed trainees?



Burges Salmon first years


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