Allen & Overy has reduced its newly-qualified (NQ) lawyers’ salaries by 10% in a bid to curb the impact of COVID-19, the firm said in a statement on Monday.

The decrease to £90,000 marks a reversal of the pay war among top U.K. firms in recent years.

Last year, A&O had bumped its NQ pay from £83,000 the previous year to £100,000 in a bid to retain young talent in the NQ pay war triggered by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

A spokesperson at the firm said in a statement: “Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and in line with measures we have introduced across the firm in response to it, we have made the decision that lawyers qualifying in September 2020 will receive a minimum total cash of £90,000, comprised of salary and a sign-on bonus.

“We would like to take this opportunity to recognise that this is a time of great concern for students wondering what the future will hold for them and to state that we have not reduced recruitment levels for the next generation of Allen & Overy lawyers.”

This is the latest COVID-19 preemptive measure the firm has put in place this year, after it decided to hold a cash call, freeze associate pay and cut partner pay-outs in March.

The move follows that of rival Slaughter and May, which also cut NQ salaries by £5,000 to £87,000 due to the coronavirus crisis last month.

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