Staff at Simmons & Simmons have been asked to take a 20% pay cut and move to a four-day week, as the international firm braces itself for a drop in profits.

Employees across the global network have been asked if they are prepared to reduce their working hours and salary by 20%. A spokesperson for the firm said: ‘Preserving jobs is our priority and the firm will continue to make proactive decisions around business management to ensure that financial performance and stability endure throughout the pandemic.’

In April, Simmons & Simmons delayed partner distributions and deferred decisions on staff pay and bonuses until later in the year.

Meanwhile, trainees at listed firm Gateley have still not been told which jobs will available in September, the month in which they are due to qualify.

A spokesperson for the firm said: ‘We usually notify trainees of jobs which are going to be available in September by the end of March based on predicted work levels going forward. This has not been possible this year given the uncertainty created by the pandemic and the effect on our clients, work levels and the economy.'

All second-year trainees now have the option to extend their employment until a long stop date of 31 December 2020. Gateley said it believes the extension will provide the business with sufficient time to consider what roles will be available once the UK economy starts to return to normal so it can offer the greatest number of job posts possible.

Earlier this week, international firm Reed Smith announced plans to lay off lawyers and staff in its London office. Pay cuts, shorter weeks and furloughing will also be introduced.