Magic circle firm Clifford Chance has awarded staff a lockdown bonus in response to their work during the pandemic. Lawyers and business staff will receive a one-off payment amounting to 5% of their salary in addition to normal salary and bonus reviews.

Global managing partner Matthew Layton said: ‘Over an extraordinary year, and in the face of sometimes immense personal challenges, our people have consistently gone the extra mile to support our clients and to support each other. I could not be prouder of our team here at Clifford Chance.’

Matthew Layton

Global managing partner Matthew Layton

Earlier this week, international firm Herbert Smith Freehills also awarded a 5% bonus to all staff for their ‘dedication and hard work’ during the pandemic. The announcements reflect an upbeat mood in the City, with many practices easing Covid measures, repaying furlough money and reviewing pay.

Spring recruitment levels have also remained high, with Freshfield Bruckhaus Deringer retaining 32 (94%) of its 34 qualifying trainees, all of who will stay in London. Craig Montgomery, training principal and trainee development partner said the figure is a ‘real testament to the strength of the lawyers who have thrived in an unprecedented time. It is also a reflection of our ongoing commitment to recruiting, retaining and developing top talent for the future’.

Meanwhile, Macfarlanes has retained all six of its trainees who qualified this month.