BLAKE Dawson has rejected claims it won’t lift a pay freeze implemented in the depth of winter that was the global financial crisis.
According to the rumour mill today, Blakes won’t budge on pay, and has put off figuring out what to do with a reported freeze of 70 per cent of its staff’s pay until July.
Blakes confirmed to The New Lawyer today, however, that the full story was not at all reported in Firm Spy and its anonymous source, from which the rumours came.
Firm Spyreported that when a partner was asked by a “courageous colleague” when the firm is intending to move on pay, the response had reportedly been: “These decisions take time, it doesn’t happen overnight, but I think 1 July would be enough time to consider everything, how the market is moving etc.”
The response was branded a “disgrace” by the anonymous source, particularly considering the speed at which 100 staff members were made redundant at the firm last year.
The fact is, Blake Dawson did not actually have a pay freeze in 2009, unlike many of its top- and mid-tier counterparts.
A firm spokesperson said the firm tailored salary reviews in response to market conditions, “and to reward our highest performers and those moving through the key promotion points”.
Blakes’ annual remuneration review will start in March, as usual, with increases effective 1 July.
The firm made 89 staff members redundant after a review of its business was competed in March last year. The cutbacks comprised 23 lawyers and 66 support staff.
At the time the firm would not disclose which practice areas had been affected, but said all staff affected were provided with career transition support and severance payments.