DLA Piper and Baker McKenzie latest to cut NQ pay

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By Aishah Hussain on

Both firms anticipate salary reviews in due course

DLA Piper and Baker McKenzie are the latest law firms to chip away at their newly-qualified (NQ) solicitor pay packets amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Associates qualifying this autumn in DLA’s London office will receive a salary of £76,000, down £2,000 from the previous rate of £78,000. Those qualifying in the firm’s regional offices will be remunerated £44,000, also down £2,000 from £46,000.

The firm is currently deferring pay reviews and confirmed that both its 2019 and 2020 NQ intakes will be part of firm-wide salary reviews in due course.

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Meanwhile, Bakers’ September qualifiers will receive a base salary of £87,500, down £2,500 from the previous rate of £90,000. They will not receive a sign-on bonus this year.

The firm introduced a £5,000 sign-on bonus for its new associates last year, taking total compensation to £95,000 at the time. However, potential earnings could have exceeded £100,000 with a performance-related bonus. This year’s qualifiers will still be eligible for a performance-related bonus.

“Each year, we undertake a review to ensure that our NQ package is competitive and aligned with the wider office reward strategy,” a spokesperson from Baker McKenzie said. “Having completed this review we will be adjusting our NQ package in line with the market. These adjustments have no bearing on the salary of other London employees, which as previously disclosed, have been deferred and will take place later in the year once we have a better understanding of the economic environment and its impact on our business.”

The firm anticipates reviewing salaries, including those of its NQs, at the end of the year.

This week we reported that Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner had trimmed NQ pay by £2,000 to £78,000. Magic circle firms Clifford Chance, Allen & Overy and Slaughter and May have also reduced the remuneration of their junior ranks in response to COVID-19, as well as Hogan Lovells, Reed Smith and Osborne Clarke.

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