Legal Business Blogs

Bond Dickinson latest to restart salary review after postponing due to Brexit

Bond Dickinson has restarted its salary review, after the firm postponed the process in September due to the effect on activity levels caused by Britain’s vote to leave the EU.

In a statement the firm said: ‘Further to our decision to defer our salary review process the board has reviewed our position and we are pleased to confirm that we will be proceeding with our salary review. All increases will be backdated to 1 November 2016, which was the effective date of the original review before we deferred it. ‘

In an email to staff managing partner Jonathan Blair had 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’.

Blair said: ‘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.’

Last week Legal Business revealed that Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP), the first known firm to freeze pay after the Brexit vote, has gone ahead with its salary reviews.

In July BLP froze pay for all UK-based staff following Brexit concerns, with managing partner Lisa Mayhew stating in an email it was ‘the prudent thing to do’. The freeze included salaries for associates, paralegals, business development, marketing and other back office staff.

A spokesman said the freeze was over and the firm will now revert to the ‘usual review timeline’ which means the next review is due in July 2017.

BLP is only one of the firms which chose post-Brexit caution after the vote. Addleshaw Goddard also froze salary reviews for staff and delayed its annual review of partner remuneration for both fixed-share and full-equity partners in August, and then restarted its salary review for all staff last month, pledging to backdate increases.

After a similar move in the summer, Gowling WLG also informed its staff on 20 September that it will restart its delayed salary review, as did Trowers & Hamlins.

Trowers had placed the freeze on fee earners’ pay in August, citing the ‘economic uncertainty’ following Brexit, and then reversed it in September following a management board meeting.