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Reed Smith puts NQ salary back up to £90k

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Firm raised pay in January, then cut it to £79,500 in June amid Covid economy fears, before moving it back up again to round out rollercoaster remuneration year

The London office of global giant Reed Smith has put pay for its newly qualified (NQ) solicitors back up to £90,000, having cut salaries in June amid fears about the economic effect of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It’s been something of a rollercoaster year for Reed Smith rookies, who saw their remuneration jump in January from £77,000 to £90,000, fall to £79,500 in June, before recovering to close out 2020. The increase is already effective, having been included in junior lawyer pay packets from last month.

Sandy Thomas, Reed Smith’s global managing partner, said:

“Throughout the pandemic, the firm has been dedicated to protecting the health and safety of our people and supporting our clients around the globe. Because of the incredibly hard work, shared sacrifice and commitment of our people, we are pleased to announce that we are fully restoring compensation to the 100% level for all of our lawyers and professional staff.”

The money news comes as Reed Smith revealed it has kept on 12 out of 12 of its qualifying trainees — a retention rate of 100%.

Reed Smith’s decision to restore pay comes after Clifford Chance returned its NQ salary to £100,000, compromising salary and bonus. The magic circle player — which doesn’t report its NQ base rate — had reduced total remuneration to £94,500 in June.

Allen & Overy and Hogan Lovells have also both recently reversed NQ pay cuts, as the impact of Covid economic fallout on big global law firms has proven less bad than initially feared.

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