BLP ends pay freeze but declines to backdate pay

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has finally reinstated its annual pay review but will not backdate pay for lawyers and staff.

BLP became the first law firm to freeze pay for all of its lawyers and staff amid the fallout from the Brexit vote in June. At the same time as announcing the pay freeze BLP posted its second highest average profit per equity partner of £683,000.

Since then a number of firms, including Addleshaw Goddard, Gowling WLG, and Trowers & Hamlins, followed suit and froze pay across their businesses.

BLP carried out its salary review process last week with all pay increases coming into effect on 1 November 2016.

BLP said it will not backdate salary increases, saving the business four months of increased costs.

A BLP spokesperson told The Lawyer the firm would now revert to its usual timeline of reviewing salaries in July each year.

Addleshaws cancelled its pay reviews for all classes of partner and associates in July. It also “deferred” its equity partners’ autumn quarterly drawings in an attempt to show solidarity with the firm’s lower ranks. Gowling WLG alsodelayed its annual pay review, which was due to take place just days after the EU referendum.

Despite initial concerns both firms have reinstated their pay reviews and promised to backdate salary increases.