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Cadwalader pauses partner distributions, cuts pay for other employees amid pandemic

Caroline Spiezio  

Caroline Spiezio  

(Reuters) - Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft is pausing partner pay and temporarily cutting compensation for associates and other employees by up to 25% in an effort to reduce costs without layoffs as it grapples with the economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis.

Patrick Quinn, Cadwalader’s managing partner, told employees in an email on Tuesday that “partners have been told not to expect any distributions during the peak months of the crisis” and that pay for legal staff, including associates, counsel and special counsel, and senior administrative staff will be cut by 25% for approximately the next four months.
Pay for other administrative staff will be temporarily reduced by 10%, according to the letter, which was shared with Reuters by a representative of the firm on Tuesday.
”Despite how busy some of us are with urgent client needs at this moment, even the most benign reasonable projections make clear that Firm revenues and billable hours are likely to be reduced during this crisis,” Quinn said in the letter. “The longer we wait to take action in response to the virus, the more difficult it will be for us to avoid much more drastic measures later.”
He said that the firm’s first priority was to avoid layoffs.
He did not immediately respond to request for additional comment on Tuesday.
Cadwalader was founded in New York, and has nearly 400 attorneys total in five offices in the U.S. and Europe, according to its website.
It is the latest law firm to make pay cuts or adjustments due to the pandemic, which has hit law firm revenue, caused financial markets to plummet and forced businesses nationwide to close.
Allen & Overy on Tuesday said it was cutting partner pay and freezing salaries for attorneys or business support staff in the first quarter of its upcoming financial year. Reed Smith on Monday announced it would “slow partner cash distributions in the near term.”
At least two law firms, Womble Bond Dickinson and Goldberg Segalla, have told Reuters they laid off employees in the U.S. because of the pandemic.

To keep up-dated on the latest news and information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic impact, and the government’s response, at Thomson Reuters’ COVID-19 Resource Center, and you can follow or the Reuters App.

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