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Exclusive: BLP bungles pay freeze and now pays NQs more than 1PQEs
04 August 2016
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BLP 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”.

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anonymous user
05/08/2016 08:51
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The NQs should all accept the offer of an NQ salary of £70,000 and hold them to it (...and upon salary reviews next year demand a fair review of that salary with increases if justified)...

It gets on my wick when partners throw their weight around regardless of their contractual obligations and then employees bend over and take it!
anonymous user
05/08/2016 12:53
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It's similar to the Trainee Revolt of 2003 at HBJ (then a top 10 firm in Scotland and now part of HBJ Gately Waring).

The firm told its trainees that they would be required to pay for any professional skills courses they took which were not related to their specialism upon qualification (out of their salaries of <£15,000).

All of the trainees, acting together, wrote to the firm and told them that this purported unilateral variation to their contract was not accepted. The firm backed down.

The mental HR lady went on a witchhunt to try to persecute the person she thought was the ringleader but once this was complained about she, too, backed down.

So I call on the soon-to-be-NQs of BLP to follow this example and tell BLP to take this unilateral variation of contract and shove it up their fundament(al breach)...
anonymous user
05/08/2016 16:16
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@ Anon 12.53 - the new NQs are getting the money, albeit through a different description, so why would they revolt? Demand the money be called salary instead of "one off payment". That would be utterly pointless.