Clifford Chance is the latest magic circle firm to announce salary cuts for newly qualified solicitors, as coronavirus begins to reverse last year’s pay battle.

Total compensation for solicitors qualifying this autumn has been reduced to £94,500 including bonuses. Last June, Clifford Chance raised its total pay package to £100,000, up from £91,000.

Slaughter and May has also reduced the baseline salary for lawyers qualifying this September by £5,000 to £87,000. Last summer, the practice announcing that NQs would receive a minimum of £100,000 including bonuses. 

Meanwhile, new associates at Hogan Lovells’ London office will receive £85,000 as opposed to £90,000, while NQs in Birmingham will be paid £46,000. Last June, the firm announced that NQs could earn up to £117,000 with performance related bonuses. A spokesperson for Hogan Lovells said it will review the position later this year.

At Allen & Overy, solicitors qualifying in September will receive a minimum of £90,000, comprised of salary and a sign-on bonus, £10,000 less than last year.

Linklaters said ‘given the extraordinary economic circumstances created by the impact of Covid-19’ it has not yet confirmed the salary level for this year’s NQs.

Firms' trainee retention rates, due to be announced in the coming weeks, could be the next indicator of confidence in the sector.