Bond Dickinson ends Brexit pay freeze

Bond Dickinson has become the latest firm to end its firmwide pay freeze and promised staff it will backdate pay.

In September managing partner Jonathan Blair emailed all of the firm’s employees and lawyers to tell them that the firm would be deferring its salary reviews due to Brexit.

A spokesperson for the firm said: “Further to our decision last month 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.”

Blair’s email said he was concerned about the UK’s decision to leave the EU after noticing “a dip in activity levels in July and August” compared with the previous year.

A number of firms including Addleshaw Goddard, Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP), and Gowling WLG also decided to postpone annual pay reviews as a result of Brexit.

Addleshaws froze its lawyers’ pay for two months while it considered the impact Brexit would have on its business. It also deferred its equity partners’ autumn quarterly drawings in an attempt to show solidarity with the firm’s lower ranks. The firm reinstated the salary reviews last month and promised to backdate pay to 1 September.

Gowling WLG halted its pay reviews in June to reassess its business. The firm’s annual reviews were due to be carried out days after the EU referendum results were revealed. Gowling WLG ended the pay freeze in September and promised to backdate pay to 1 July.

BLP was the first firm to implement a pay freeze after the Brexit vote. Although the firm has now reinstated its annual pay review it has refused to backdate pay. Pay increases came into effect on 1 November 2016 with the next review taking place in July 2017.