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Law firms continue to repay government furlough cash

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Burges Salmon follows moves made by Eversheds and Dentons

Burges Salmon is the latest law firm to repay the cash it received as part of the government’s furlough scheme and has wound back some of the cost-cutting measures introduced since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bristol-headquartered firm has repaid in full the funds it received from the government for placing a number of employees on furlough. The roles were those most affected by the impact of COVID-19 and included front of house staff and legal support positions, according to a statement.

Burges Salmon managing partner Roger Bull said:

“Having undertaken a detailed financial review and forecasting exercise at the half year, our firm is now in a stronger than anticipated position with a greater degree of confidence about the future. On that basis, we have decided to repay the funds that the firm received from the furlough scheme in December. We were grateful to have had access to the furlough scheme earlier in the year but as we are in a better position than we anticipated, we are pleased to be able to repay it.”

The firm has also reinstated salary reviews for everyone and said revised salaries will be implemented with effect from 1 January 2021.

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Meanwhile, Eversheds Sutherland and Dentons paid back government funds in October. Dentons also called time on its scheme to allow staff to switch to a four-day working week for reduced pay, with staff returning to “normal working patterns” from this month, according to a statement.

The duo join a raft of other law firms including Norton Rose Fulbright, Herbert Smith Freehills and Osborne Clarke, who refunded furlough money earlier in the autumn. Legal Cheek understands other major law firms are considering making similar moves.

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