Lawyer 2B readers against performance-related pay for NQs

Lawyer 2B readers have voted against a recent move by RPC to scrap its flat rate newly-qualified (NQ) salary in favour of performance-related pay.

Two-thirds of readers stated that the change was a bad idea, reasoning that it was too early in lawyers’ careers to judge their performance accurately.

Just 25 per cent thought that it was a positive move, asking why NQs should be any different from more senior lawyers, who are usually judged on merit.

The remainder of readers (9 per cent) believed that since juniors are paid such a high amount anyway, RPC’s move to merit-based salaries for NQs is of little significance.

RPC will implement its plan in September 2014, and argued that the flat rate system had “passed its sell-by date”.

Currently, only trainees and NQs have a fixed salary at RPC, with those higher up the chain already rewarded through a merit-based system.

Managing partner Jonathan Watmough said: “The idea that people are all the same is completely barmy. When people are all different, why should there be a one-size-fits-all system? It’s completely unfair and doesn’t reward the really high performers.

He added: “The concept of the flat rate has passed its sell-by date and no longer has any integrity. It doesn’t recognise the different merits of individual NQs, nor does it recognise the market variances between the different branches of law into which they will qualify. Crucially, it does not take into account the pressures clients are under to obtain value from their suppliers.”