Norton Rose Fulbright latest to cut NQ solicitor pay

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Confirms 87% trainee retention score

Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) has become the latest City law firm to cut the salaries of its newly qualified (NQ) lawyers in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The global giant today confirmed its new associates will now start on a base rate of £82,500, down 6% from a pre-pandemic pay packet of £87,500. A spokesperson for NRF said it will be “reinvesting the savings from this reduction to increase salaries for more senior associates.”

They added: “Despite this reset of the NQ salary level, following changes to our own bonus scheme earlier this year, a NQ still has the potential to earn in excess of £100,000.”

The changes will take effect from September.

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NRF also confirmed that associates and business service team members in Europe, Middle East and Asia who have been promoted to a new role this year, will receive salary increases. The salary freeze announced at the start of April will, however, remain in place for all those remaining in their current roles at this time.

Separately, NRF confirmed an autumn retention score of 87% with 20 out of 23 soon-to-be associates putting pen to paper on deals.

Confirmation of the cuts come just 48 hours after magic circle player Linklaters revealed it had trimmed NQ salaries by 10% to £90,000. Other firms to announce similar belt-tightening measures in recent weeks include Clyde & Co, Macfarlanes and Jones Day.

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