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Bond Dickinson latest to blame Brexit as firm implements pay freeze

Bond Dickinson is the latest firm to postpone its salary reviews until November, blaming the Brexit vote for hitting activity levels.

In an email to staff managing partner Jonathan Blair told the firm there had been ‘a dip in activity levels’ and that ‘the decision to leave the EU appears to impacting on client activity and instructions’.

The firm will now freeze pay reviews, reports RollOnFriday, with Blair saying the firm will ‘revisit this again in November once we know about once we know more about our performance year to date’.

In the email, Blair (pictured) writes: ‘We have very reluctantly concluded that we will need to defer the current salary review process until we are in a position to review half year results together with projected fee income for the remainder of the financial year.’

National firm Bond Dickinson has endured lacklustre financial performance for 2015/16. Revenues dropped 3% to £104m, down from £107m and profit per equity partner fell 3% to £275,000 for the year.

Commenting on the firm’s financials this summer, Blair told Legal Business: ‘I am less confident about what the marketplace is doing. I think it is going to be a very tough year for the sector.’

A number of UK firms have put pay reviews on hold for staff after a slow market in the build up to the referendum to leave the EU. Berwin Leighton Paisner was the first City firm to freeze pay reviews post Brexit, notifying staff in July. Fellow mid-tier firms Trowers & Hamlins, Addleshaw Goddard and Gowling WLG have all put their summer salary reviews on hold although Gowling WLG said earlier this week its freeze was over.

A spokesperson for Bond Dickinson said: ‘Similar to the approach taken by other firms, we have been reviewing activity levels post Brexit and while it is too early to tell what the longer term impact will be, we have concluded that we should defer our salary review process until later in the year when we have a clearer picture of market trends and client activity.’