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Exclusive: Trowers & Hamlins freezes pay
12 August 2016
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Trowers & Hamlins has frozen salaries for all staff. Except partners, whose pay rises have gone ahead.

After the vote for Brexit, associates received an email from the firm's HR director telling them that Trowers was "holding off for now" on salary reviews until the firm's board meeting on 21 July. He said that "much remains uncertain" but that "some stability appears to be returning". However, on 22 July, Senior Partner Jennie Gubbins notified staff that no decision had been taken, and that reviews had been postponed again until after the next board meeting, on 15 September.

In her email, leaked to RollOnFriday, she said that while Trowers "can't predict the future", it can "safely say that uncertainty is likely to continue for the next few months until there is more clarity around the direction of negotiations for our withdrawal". She said that as a result, management "has decided to put in place a number of precautions to ensure that the firm is better able to withstand any bumps there may be in the road ahead". One of which appears to be a pay freeze.

Trowers has a strong middle eastern focus, and Gubbins also divulged to staff that "various distinguished Saudis", had "some worry" about "what is happening". She instructed staff to "take every opportunity you can to reassure everyone that the UK is open for business with the GCC and the Far East".

  Trowers: open for business 

The salaried partners might be more keen to oblige her request. Their pay reviews were completed before the referendum vote, in March, and their pay increases have been effective since April. "Lucky them", said an insider, warning that, "mutinous associates sensing unfair treatment are now awaiting the outcome of the next board meeting with bated breath (and sharpened CVs)".

   

 Brexit pay freezes have also been imposed at BLP and Gowling WLG. And at Addleshaw Goddard, where the firm at least had the decency to postpone partner payrises as well.

A spokeswoman for Trowers said, "We have simply delayed the decision on pay rises until later in the year. We do not wish comment further".

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anonymous user
12/08/2016 00:12
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As well as sharpening their CVs, the associates should check their offer letter and terms of employment for any mention of when salary reviews must take place. At Nabarro, the standard offer letter specifically entitled associates to a salary review in June for example...