Exclusive: BLP bungles pay freeze and now pays NQs more than 1PQEs
04 August 2016
is paying NQs more than senior lawyers after bungling its pay freeze.
Last month RollOnFriday revealed
that BLP had frozen lawyers' pay. In an email to staff, Managing Partner Lisa Mayhew blamed the Brexit vote and said that the "responsible and prudent thing to do
" was to defer salary reviews for four months.
Unfortunately, the firm had already offered trainees qualifying this September an NQ salary of £70,000, up from the current £66,000. When BLP slammed the brakes on pay reviews, its solution was simple. Or, more accurately, fiendishly complicated. A spokesman told RollOnFriday, "we reduced our September NQ offer from £70,000
", back down "to £66,000
". But, at the same time, "to honour the NQ’s total compensation
", the firm told them it would "provide a one-off payment of £4,000 at the end of the financial year
||Turns out no-one planned for Brexit
The only problem is that 1PQEs remain on £68,000, according to the last figures released by the firm. Which means that if the pay freeze remains in place, 1PQEs will be in the odd and dispiriting position of earning less than their junior colleagues. An insider told RollOnFriday that the firm was "facing a mutiny
" from mid-level associates, who regard the extra £4k for NQs as an "under the table bonus
". A spokesman said the payment, "has been communicated openly to our NQ and associate groups
But he admitted, “there is now a potential discrepancy at our junior level on the remuneration packages we have awarded NQs".
He said, "However, this is only a potential discrepancy as it depends on the outcome of our imminent salary review process this November