In a welcomed U-turn, Hogan Lovells has announced that it will reverse pay cuts that it instigated for its US associates. But the firm has yet to decide if it will offer a similar turnaround of pay for UK lawyers.

In May, as firms reacted to the impact of Covid-19, Hogan Lovells deferred salary reviews and discretionary bonuses for UK and Asia Pacific associates and business services staff. The following month, the firm reduced salaries for associates in the US, Mexico and Brazil by 10%.

But there are lime green shoots of recovery, as Hogan Lovells has now announced it will retroactively reverse the salary reductions in the US and reinstate the salary review process in the UK.

“Having looked carefully at our work over the summer, we have seen a solid performance and now is the time to start a step-by-step approach to reverse some of the prudent measures we implemented earlier this year around compensation," said Hogan Lovells CEO, Miguel Zaldivar.

A Hogan Lovells spokeswoman told RollOnFriday that the firm had not yet decided whether salary reductions in the UK will be reversed. In June the firm reduced NQ salaries in the UK from £90,000 to £85,000 in London, with Birmingham NQs dropping from £48,000 to £46,000. First year UK trainees moving into the second year of their training contract in August had their pay frozen on their first year salary of £46,000 rather than increasing to £51,000.

U turn

U-turns at some firms may take a while

And Hog Love equity partners will continue to take a hit, as the firm said that current reductions to their draws and bonus payments will be in place until the end of the year. And compensation reductions will also remain in place for non-equity partners and senior counsel, although the firm will review this later this year.

Many City firms made pay cuts this year due to the pandemic, with some offering staff a commensurate drop in hours. It remains to be seen whether others follow Hog Love in the US and reverse the cuts, including the UK offices of Hog Love.

Tip Off ROF


HL Insider 11 September 20 10:49

Hey chaps, this misses a material point.  US salaries were raised in Jan, as befits their market.  The UK process is normally conducted in March/April - as a result of COVID, in the Spring, US salaries were wound back to FY2019 levels and the UK review process was postponed.  

The US have now had their rises reinstated and in the UK, the salary review process is kicking off again.  What you have missed is that for UK associates, that salary review will be backdated to 1 May.  My view was very much that HL are doing the right thing here, and making us whole... and before the trolls come out I'm not an HR rep, I'm a senior associate with enough years served to be healthily cynical! 

Anonymous 11 September 20 20:15

I agree with HL Insider.

However, the pay review only applies to legal staff, leaving business services staff disgruntled.

Business Services staff will be considered for a pay and bonus review later in the year but this will be dependant on firm profits and there is no reference to those being backdated to 1 May.  It seems that business services staff are unimportant to the new CEO.

Yikes 12 September 20 07:16

Unfortunately it's because business services staff are much more replaceable and the firm didn't have to invest in training them for 2 years. 

Uh oh 12 September 20 09:07

Anonymous - isn’t the general message coming out of the new leadership that business services are largely unimportant to them? I don’t think it’s limited to salaries, and is a sad change from what was a wonderful firm to work at. 

Anonymous 15 September 20 20:43

The GO staff have all been outsourced to a new employer and are understandably nervous about their future.

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