Clifford Chance unfreezing staff in its Magic Circle kingdom
In another good indication that the big City firms are pulling through the pandemic, Clifford Chance is ending its salary freeze with effect from November 2020.
At the end of April this year, as was common in the City, Clifford Chance paused salary reviews along with other measures in response to the pandemic. At the time, the Magic Circle firm committed to revisiting the position in November.
A source told RollOnFriday that lawyers will now receive any pay raises they were due to get in May 2020, when the freeze was introduced. It is understood that the raise will not be retroactive. A source close to management confirmed that CC has now resumed progression of salary reviews. A spokesman for the firm declined to comment.
There are positive signs that, so far, many of the big City firms are relatively unscathed by this year's events. A number are starting to lift temporary salary restrictions that were put in place earlier this year. Hogan Lovells reversed its pay cuts for associates, Herbert Smith Freehills and Charles Russll Speechlys have paid out bonuses (although they have kept salaries frozen for now), White & Case shrugged off Covid by increasing wages for its NQs to £130k, and Akin Gump is paying out special bonuses.