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COVID-19

Coronavirus crisis: Cost-cutting and other law firm responses to the pandemic

Caroline Spiezio  

Caroline Spiezio  

Law firms across the United States have announced measures aimed at conserving cash or otherwise mitigating the fallout of the coronavirus crisis, which has since March led to courts and businesses shuttering nationwide, leaving firms’ financial futures uncertain. Here is a roundup of changes law firms have implemented amid the pandemic.

This list was updated May 22, 2020.

AKERMAN
Akerman in April said that most of its partners, of counsel and consultants will receive a 12.5% reduction in their draw on an annualized basis and that associates and staff with salaries of $150,000 or more will receive a 7.5% reduction in compensation on an annualized basis. Staff earning less than that amount will take a 5% cut. It later said it will conduct its summer associate program remotely and start it July 6. The program has been shortened from eight weeks to four weeks, with offer decisions made at the end of the program.
 
ALLEN & OVERY
Allen & Overy in March said it will cut partner pay, defer certain investments and recruitment and cancel events. It will also freeze salaries for attorneys or business support staff in the first quarter of its upcoming financial year, but still award bonuses for its fiscal year ending April 30, with payments split between its July and October payroll. It later said its summer associate program will begin in mid-June and will be conducted remotely.
 
ARENT FOX
Arent Fox in April said it will institute “a temporary pay cut for all attorneys, professionals, and staff.”
 
ASHURST
Ashurst in April said it will reduce its monthly sums paid to partners by 20% for the next 6 months; defer salary reviews for its upcoming financial year until November; postpone paying half of staff bonus amounts until November; and ask many staff to adopt an 80% work schedule for three months starting on May 1. It said it also expected partners’ incomes for its financial year starting on May 1 to be significantly reduced.
 
BAKER BOTTS
Baker Botts in April said it will delay the start of its summer program by at least a month and that it plans to conduct at least part of the program remotely. It will still extend offers to all of its summer associates, as long as they maintain a strong academic performance. The firm later said that from May 1 to July 31, it will reduce salaries for counsel by 20% to 30%, for associates by 20% and for staff by 0% to 25% based on salary level, with no one earning less than $70,000 annually taking a cut. Partners have also agreed to compensation reductions to absorb the bulk of the financial impact expected from the pandemic. The start date for the firm’s incoming associate class has been pushed back to 2021.
 
BAKER DONELSON
Baker Donelson in April said it has cut shareholder pay and that it has temporarily reduced salaries for employees, including attorneys, by 20%. It will furlough some employees who are unable to work remotely, less than 4% of its workforce.
 
BAKERHOSTETLER
BakerHostetler in May said it is reducing partners’ annual compensation by 15% to 20% and associates and staff by 10%, with no cuts for those making less than $70,000 or $80,000, depending on the market the employee is located in. Administrative assistants and staff will have the option to choose a reduced work schedule in lieu of a 10% annualized compensation adjustment. Its summer associate program is shortened to 4 weeks and it will be remote.
 
BAKER MCKENZIE
Baker McKenzie in April said its attorneys and other timekeepers and business professionals in the U.S. will take a 15% reduction in base compensation, which will likely last from May 1 to Dec. 31. No one earning less than $100,000 will be impacted by the cuts and the “largest compensation impacts will be felt by equity partners,” it said. The firm later said it would shorten its summer program in the U.S. and Canada to five weeks, from June 29 until July 31, and would conduct it virtually but that it may hold in-person networking events or in-office work if it is logistically feasible.
 
BALLARD SPAHR
Ballard Spahr in April said it will reduce salaries by 15% for all employees earning more than $250,000, and by 10% for those earning between $249,999 and $75,000. Those earning less than $75,000 will not take a reduction in pay, it said. Partner draws are being reduced by 20% to 25%.
 
BLANK ROME
Blank Rome said in April that it will temporarily cut pay by 15% for partners, associates, counsel, professional staff and assistants, and that it has temporarily furloughed a small number of staff.
 
BREMER WHYTE BROWN & O’MEARA
Bremer Whyte in April said it has laid off or furloughed 25 associates and has also furloughed approximately 20% of its staff. Equity partners are temporarily forgoing all their compensation.
 
BROWN RUDNICK
Brown Rudnick in April said it has reduced associate pay by 7.5% for the year and that partner draws would be reduced.
 
BRYAN CAVE LEIGHTON PAISNER
Bryan Cave in April said it will defer partner payouts and that it was planning a 15% salary reduction for all employees in all of its offices who have an income of $40,000 or more. Reductions will start in May and last 13 weeks. It has also offered employees the option to take sabbaticals with 30% pay or to work part-time.
 
BUCHANAN INGERSOLL & ROONEY
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney in April said it has temporarily adjusted compensation across all levels on a varying scale. The firm later said it is shortening its summer associate program to four weeks and that it will make offers to each second year summer associate. Its incoming first year associate class will now start in Jan. 2021.
 
CADWALADER WICKERSHAM & TAFT
Patrick Quinn, Cadwalader’s managing partner, told employees in an email in March 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 would be cut by 25% for approximately the next four months. Pay for other administrative staff would be temporarily reduced by 10%, according to the letter.
 
CAHILL GORDON & REINDEL
Cahill Gordon & Reindel in April said it will suspend its summer associate program, but that it will still pay students in full and make them offers to work at the firm after they graduate from law school in 2021.
 
CLARK HILL
Clark Hill in April said it will reduce pay for all attorneys and staff, freeze all discretionary spending, revise certain benefits and furlough some employees.
 
CLIFFORD CHANCE
Clifford Chance in April said it will defer its summer profit distributions for partners, which would have been paid in June. It also said it will not pay all of its bonuses in full in May, pushing portions of some bonus payments until November. The start date for its Americas summer program has been pushed back to June from May, but students will still be paid for the entire summer. The program will be conducted virtually.
 
COOLEY
Cooley in April said its summer program, which has 102 summer associates, will be shortened from 10 weeks to six.
 
COZEN O’CONNOR
Cozen O’Connor in April said that its equity partners will have 10% to 20% of their compensation deferred until later this year, and that the firm has furloughed approximately 2.5% of its administrative staff.
 
CRAVATH SWAINE & MOORE
Cravath in April said that the beginning of its summer program would be held virtually and that the program’s start date had been pushed back to June. All impacted students will receive offers.
 
CROWELL & MORING
Crowell & Moring in April said that on May 1 its equity partners’ pay will be reduced by 25%; most income partners’ by 20%; and associates’ and counsels’ by 15%. Staff who earn more than $100,000, about one-third of staff, will have their pay reduced by between 5% and 20% depending on their salary.
 
DAVIS & GILBERT
Davis & Gilbert in April said it is substantially reducing the base draw amounts for a number of partners so that all partners now have the same base draw amount, and temporarily limiting partner distributions to 75% of that base amount. It will also defer the mid-summer distribution when partners would typically receive an advance against their year-end profit allocations. Salaries for associates, senior attorneys and counsel will be reduced by 15%, effective May 4. Salaries for staff and managers earning over $150,000 per year will be reduced by 15%; and by 10% for those earning between $70,000 and $150,000. Salaries below $70,000 per year will not be adjusted.
 
DAVIS POLK & WARDWELL
Davis Polk & Wardwell in April confirmed it has postponed the start of its summer associate program but did not say when it would begin.
 
DAVIS WRIGHT TREMAINE
Davis Wright in April said its quarterly equity partner distributions will be reduced. From May 2 through the end of the year it will reduce salaries by 15% for non-equity partners and c-suite level executives, by 12% for associates, counsel and of counsel and between 6% and 10% for staff based on salary level, with no reduction below $60,000. Also on May 2, it will furlough approximately 8% of its staff, but continue to provide them with medical and other benefits. Some other staff members will move to reduced schedules. Its summer associate program has been shortened to six weeks and it will be conducted remotely.
 
DAY PITNEY
Day Pitney in April said it will cut pay by 15% for all attorneys and some staff, and reduce hours by 40% for other staff while its offices are closed. The firm is also reducing partner draws by between 15% and 42% and suspending its April supplemental distribution, its managing partner Tom Goldberg said.
 
DECHERT
Dechert in April said it has suspended its summer associate program. It will make offers to students who would have been summer associates to join it as first-year associates and will pay them for six weeks.
 
DENTONS US
Dentons in April said it had adjusted the timing of bonus payments for its lawyers in the U.S. The firm confirmed that it will reduce partner draws by at least 20%. It will also reduce pay for timekeepers and business service staff on a gradual scale with no reduction for those earning $60,000 or less and up to 20% for those earning more than $190,000. The firm’s incoming associates are set to start in Jan. 2021, but may begin earlier as client demands require.
 
DINSMORE & SHOHL
Dinsmore in April said it deferred a portion of partner distributions, made a small number of layoffs and is temporarily furloughing some staff, as well as taking other expense-reduction measures.
 
DLA PIPER
DLA Piper in April said it has delayed the start date for its summer associate program from May until June.
 
DORSEY & WHITNEY
Dorsey & Whitney in May said it is laying off attorneys and staff and reducing billable hour guidelines for associates and “certain other attorneys.” It said that in June it will cut pay by 10-20% until the end of the year for non-partner attorneys and some staff, with no reductions for staff making less than $150,000 in annual base compensation. In April it announced limits on equity partner distributions. The firm has also delayed the start of its incoming first-year associate class until January 2021 and shortened its summer associate program from 10 weeks to seven.
 
DOWNEY BRAND
Downey Brand managing partner Scott Shapiro in April said that partners will reduce draws and that the firm will cut salaries for its other attorneys and salaried staff by 20% for a four-month period ending July 31. Hourly staff will transition from working five days a week to four.
 
DUANE MORRIS
Duane Morris in April said that it has deferred equity partner distributions and reduced targeted year-end equity partner compensation by 25% and reduced targeted year-end non-equity partner compensation by 20%. It said that on May 1, associate, special counsel and exempt business staff whose compensation is more than $100,000 annually, will have their salaries reduced by 15%. It said it has also furloughed some employees who were unable to work remotely but that they would retain their healthcare benefits. Some other staff have been moved to a reduced work schedule and retirement plan contributions are suspended for 2020, the firm said.
 
EVERSHEDS SUTHERLAND
Eversheds Sutherland in May said it will furlough approximately 40 staff members, but will keep them under its health insurance plans and pay their insurance premiums. Equity partners will “bear the primary” economic burden. All other attorneys and staff will take a temporary compensation reduction that amounts on average to 10% of their total compensation for 2020. Employees earning $50,000 and less will not take a pay cut. The firm has postponed the start date for incoming first-year associates until January 2021. Its summer associate program will start in July and be conducted remotely.
 
FAEGRE DRINKER BIDDLE & REATH
Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath in April said it has deferred one-third of equity partner distributions for the second quarter and that it would review its expenses. The firm later said it will defer the start date of its summer associate program to no earlier than July 6 and that it is evaluating the program’s format. It said in May that it had cut pay by 15% for non-partner attorneys. Staff earning $50,000 or more are taking cuts of up to 15%. The firm has furloughed 1.5% of its personnel but will give them benefits.
 
FISHER PHILLIPS
Fisher Phillips in April said it has instituted temporary 20% pay reductions for attorneys and staff.
 
FOLEY HOAG
Foley Hoag in April confirmed that it will cut salaries for associates, counsel and business professionals with a salary of $190,000 or more by 15%. Other employees with a salary between $189,999 and $150,000 will face a salary reduction of 7.5%. Non-equity partner pay cuts will range from 20% to 30% of their base compensation, depending on past performance and expected future work levels, and equity partners have had their draws reduced.
 
FOX ROTHSCHILD
Fox Rothschild in April said that it is implementing a tiered salary reduction, between 10% and 15%, for all attorneys and staff earning above $100,000, starting in May. There will be no reductions for anyone at the firm with a salary of $100,000 or less. Equity partners are reducing their monthly draws in tiers, between 10% and 20%, starting in May. The firm’s summer associate program has been shortened and its first-year associate class will not start until Jan. 2021.
 
FRAGOMEN DEL REY BERNSEN & LOEWY
Fragomen partner Blake Chisam in April confirmed that the firm’s partners and senior C-Suite corporate leaders will take pay cuts, but declined to say what that cut would be. Employees will also not get raises or bonuses this year, and the firm will suspend its discretionary employer matching contribution under its 401(k) retirement plan in the U.S.
 
FRESHFIELDS BRUCKHAUS DERINGER
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in April said it will suspend partner pay for its financial quarter that ends in April, and freeze pay and delay bonus decisions for all employees. The firm also delayed its summer associate program to run from mid-June through August instead of its usual May through July time frame.
 
GIBSON DUNN & CRUTCHER
Gibson Dunn in April said it has pushed the start date of its summer program to June 15.
 
GOLDBERG SEGALLA
Goldberg Segalla in March said it has laid off employees whose responsibilities would be unessential or moot because of its offices closing amid the coronavirus outbreak.
 
GOODWIN PROCTER
Goodwin Procter in April said it asked a limited number of its global operations team members to leave the firm. It will provide severance packages and make continued contributions to impacted workers’ healthcare benefits through Sept. 30. It later said it had shortened its summer associate program from ten weeks to five, to begin on July 6, and that it will hold the program remotely.
 
GREENBERG TRAURIG
Greenberg Traurig in April said it has called off its traditional summer associate program for 2020 but that students could still work later this summer for hourly pay if its offices re-open. It will provide second-year students who would have been in the summer program offers to join the firm full time after they graduate and pay them a $10,000 advance against their first-year associate starting salary. First-year students will receive an offer to join the firm next summer and a $5,000 advance in July 2020 against their salary for July 2021.
 
GREENSPOON MARDER
Greenspoon Marder in April said it had decided to implement various cost-cutting measures.
 
HINSHAW & CULBERTSON
Hinshaw in April confirmed that it would cut salaries by 15% for all employees with an annual salary higher than $55,000.
 
HOGAN LOVELLS
Hogan Lovells in April said that it is delaying bonuses and profit distributions for partners for the firm’s performance in 2019. It has postponed salary reviews and discretionary bonus payments for most of its business services teams. Its incoming first-year associate class in the U.S. will start in January 2021, with those impacted receiving an autumn stipend. Its summer associate program in the U.S. is shortened from 10 weeks to four weeks and may be held virtually. It later said that on June 1 its U.S. equity partners will reduce their monthly draws by between 15% and 25%, and that all equity partners will defer half of any profits for the first quarter of the year normally paid to them in August until November. Non-equity partners, senior counsel, and some counsel and specialists will take 15% reductions in base compensation, and all other attorneys in the U.S. will see 10% cuts, from June 1 until the end of the year. No one earning $100,000 or less will have their pay cut.
 
HOLLAND & KNIGHT
Holland & Knight in May said its partner draws have been reduced on average by approximately 25% under a progressive scale. It will reduce the compensation of the vast majority of its associates, counsel, and senior professionals by 17.5%, with some adjustments to that percent on the far ends of the pay scale. Staff who earn more than $75,000 but less than $150,000 will have their compensation reduced by 10%, while staff who earn more than $150,000 will see a 15% reduction. Staff earning less than $75,000 will not have their pay cut. Some staff have been furloughed.
 
HUSCH BLACKWELL
Husch Blackwell in April said its equity partners have cut their monthly draws by 15% of base compensation, increasing the equity partner holdback from an earlier announced amount of 20% to a total of 35%. The firm on May 1 will institute a 10% holdback of fixed income partner compensation. It is also implementing layoffs, furloughs, salary reductions, transitions to less-than-fulltime status, early retirements, and deferrals. Both lawyers and staff were affected by some or all of these measures, but the total number impacted represents less than 10% of the firm.
 
ICE MILLER
Ice Miller said in April that it had furloughed 18 professional staff and 17 timekeepers, including some associates and counsel. It will also cut pay for all employees who make more than $50,000, with reductions varying based on income level and with partners taking the biggest hit.
 
JENNER & BLOCK
Jenner & Block in April said it would conduct its summer associate program remotely starting on June 8.
 
K&L GATES
K&L Gates in April said that its equity partners will see a 20% reduction in their scheduled advances, starting that month, with its leaders taking larger reductions than that. Income partners, associates and allied professionals and staff with salaries of $75,000 or more in the U.S. will have their salaries reduced by 15% starting on May 1, the firm said. Salaries near $75,000 will not be decreased below that amount. The firm said it had also implemented a presumptive hiring freeze and canceled or deferred as much discretionary spending as feasible.
 
KATTEN MUCHIN ROSENMAN
Katten in April said its equity partners have deferred all of their compensation for April and May. It is also cutting salaries on May 1 for attorneys and business professionals making over $100,000 a year by 20%, though no impacted individual’s income will be reduced to below $100,000. No one making below $100,000 will have their pay cut. Some business professionals and fewer than five attorneys will be furloughed on May 1 and will receive money from a fund started by the firm.
 
KELLEY DRYE
Kelley Drye in April said it will reduce draws for equity partners by up to 20% and cut salaries by 10% for all employees making more than $100,000.
 
KILPATRICK TOWNSEND & STOCKTON
Kilpatrick in April said it reduced partner draws by an average of 10% and that later that month all other salaried employees would face a 5% cut. Secretaries, who are paid hourly, would have their hours cut by 20%, it said. The firm also said it would furlough a small number of employees with jobs that directly relate to being on-site in one of its offices though it will still provide them medical and other benefits.
 
KIRKLAND & ELLIS
Kirkland & Ellis in May said its summer program will begin on June 15 and run for two weeks and will be conducted remotely. All participants will be compensated fully for the length of time they were originally scheduled to work. All students have been given offers.
 
KRAMER LEVIN NAFTALIS & FRANKEL
Kramer Levin in April said it has postponed the start date for its incoming first year associate class until January 2021. First years will not be paid until they start work in January, but the firm will make available interest free loans for up to $8,000. Its summer associate program will be shortened to five weeks, to run from July 6 to August 7, and all impacted students have been made offers.
 
LATHAM & WATKINS
Latham in May said that the start date of its summer associate program has been pushed back until June 1 and that the program will be conducted remotely, but that the firm will honor its full financial commitment to impacted students.
 
LINKLATERS
Linklaters in April said it will not issue partners their next distribution, which was set to be in June. The firm is also freezing hiring and delaying its salary review process for six months and delay some of its bonus payments.
 
LITTLER MENDELSON
Littler in April said that it will cut compensation for shareholders and corporate management by 20% starting on May 8. Highly compensated non-equity shareholders and non-attorney senior-level administrative employees with compensation of more than $300,000 will have their salaries reduced by 15% starting the same day. On June 5, employees earning between $200,000 and $300,000 will take a 13% salary cut and those earning from $100,000 up to $200,000 will take an 11% cut. Many employees earning less than that will have their pay reduced between 4% to 9%, but employees who cannot work from home will have their pay cut by 50%.
 
LOCKE LORD
Locke Lord in May said it will implement a 10% reduction in draws for equity partners and a 10% reduction in compensation for other attorneys and senior staff, and a 5% reduction in compensation for support staff. A small number of support staff have been laid off.
 
LOEB & LOEB
Loeb & Loebin April said it will delay its quarterly April distribution to its capital partners until July, and that it will cut those partners’ monthly draws by 20%. Other lawyers and senior staff at the firm will take 15% pay cuts and the rest of the firm’s employees will see 10% reductions.
 
LOWENSTEIN SANDLER
Lowenstein Sandler in April said it will delay equity partner distributions.
 
MARSHALL DENNEHEY
Marshall Dennehey in March said it will suspend its 4% employer match to 401(k) contributions from May 1 until the end of 2020.
 
MAYER BROWN
Mayer Brown in May said it is cutting salaries by 15% for all attorneys who are not equity partners and for business services staff who earn more than $200,000, until the end of the year. Business staff who earn less than that will have their pay reduced on a graduated scale. Equity partners in March agreed to a 20% reduction in monthly draws and to suspend their distributions for the first half of 2020. First-year associates in the U.S. will now start in January 2021, but the firm will provide a $5,000 monthly payment for three months starting in October 2020 and will cover the cost of premiums for medical and related insurance programs during that period.
 
MCDERMOTT WILL & EMERY
McDermott Will & Emery in April said it had decided to reshape its summer program into an optional two-week virtual boot camp taking place from July 13-24. Impacted students will receive a stipend and offers. It also confirmed it has laid off staff.
 
MINTZ LEVIN COHN FERRIS GLOVSKY & POPEO
Mintz Levin in April said it has reduced draws to partners and that it will cut base pay for associates by 10% and cut salaries for professional staff earning more than $75,000 and paraprofessionals by 5%. There will also be some reduction in bonuses, it said.
 
MUNGER TOLLES & OLSON
Munger Tolles & Olson in April said its summer program will begin in mid-June and will last for six weeks, and that it will pay summer associates who complete the program for the entire time they originally planned to spend at the firm.
 
NIXON PEABODY
Nixon Peabody in May said it will cut associate salaries by 10%. It has postponed the start date for its incoming first-year associate class until it “can better anticipate future client needs,” with those impacted receiving a $10,000 salary advance. It has canceled its summer associate program, without promising job offers for the second-year students who were slated to take part in the program. Those impacted will receive a $5,000 stipend. It has laid off 5% of associates, and furloughed another 5% of associates and 25% of staff.
 
NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT
Norton Rose Fulbright in April said that it has asked attorneys and staff to accept a temporary reduction in compensation and that it had “made discrete reductions” in its U.S. workforce.
 
OGLETREE DEAKINS NASH SMOAK & STEWART
Ogletree in April said it will eliminate its summer associate program and that it will not pay the 36 students who would have been summer associates. It also said it furloughed some employees, who will receive healthcare benefits until May 31, and reduced hours for others. It later said it would reduce attorney salaries by 15%, and that equity shareholders are expected to receive a 20% reduction in compensation. Staff who earn $100,000 per year or more will take a 10% pay cut, with no reductions for those earning less than $100,000.
 
ORRICK HERRINGTON & SUTCLIFFE
Orrick in April said its 2020 associate class would now start in January 2021, or “after postponed bar exams.” It said its summer associate program will be conducted remotely and has been scaled back to five weeks, but that second-year law students will be given permanent offers and first-years will receive return offers for the following summer. For the most part, career associates’ salaries will be cut by 5%; associates’ by 10%; and managing associates, senior associates and many of counsel’s by 15%, it said. Staff salary cuts will range from 1% to 15%, with some staff being asked to work reduced hours for four months starting on May 1, and secretaries cutting their schedules to four days per week. “Top contributing” employees – both lawyers and staff – will be eligible for a special award to “make them whole,” which will be separate from the firm’s annual bonus, the firm said.
 
PAUL WEISS RIFKIND WHARTON & GARRISON
Paul Weiss in April confirmed that it will conduct at least part of its summer associate program remotely and that it is delaying the start date for the program. It expects to extend offers to all second-year students in the program.
 
PEPPER HAMILTON
Pepper Hamilton in May said it has reduced distributions to its partners and is introducing salary cuts that amount to an annualized salary reduction of under 12% for all other attorneys. All staff with salaries of $60,000 or more will have their salaries reduced on a graduated scale, with annualized cuts for the majority of those employees ranging between 3% and 9%. It has delayed the start date for its incoming associate class until January 2021.
 
PERKINS COIE
Perkins Coie in May said it is cutting pay by 15% for non-partner attorneys and for staff making more than $200,000 starting in June. Staff making $125,000 to $200,000 face a 10% reduction. It had in March started delaying 19% of partner payouts.
 
PILLSBURY WINTHROP SHAW PITTMAN
Pillsbury in May said its partners’ monthly draws had since April been reduced by a at least 25%. On May 15 the firm will cut pay for associates and counsel in the U.S. by 20% and for staff by up to 15%. Some chief officers, who are senior non-lawyer employees, have volunteered to take larger cuts. No one making less than $75,000 a year will have their pay impacted.
 
POND LEHOCKY GIORDANO
Pond Lehocky Giordano in a May WARN filing said it will on June 1 lay off 76 employees, about 25% of its total headcount.
 
PRYOR CASHMAN
Pryor Cashman managing partner Ronald Shechtman said in March that the firm furloughed some associates indefinitely.
 
QUARLES & BRADY
Quarles & Brady in April said that it had temporarily adjusted partner distributions and draws, and compensation for all attorneys and staff. It also furloughed a small number of employees, canceled its summer associate program and adjusted its expense budget for the remainder of its fiscal year.
 
QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART & SULLIVAN
Quinn Emanuel in May said it is temporarily reducing its payments to partners. It will revisit the decision in July.
 
REED SMITH
Reed Smith in March said it will “slow partner cash distributions.” In April the firm said it reduced base pay for counsel by 10% for the next three months and that it will reduce associate pay by 15% for four months, starting in May. It also in April said it shortened its summer program to five weeks and was prepared to conduct it remotely if necessary. The firm also delayed its first-year associate start date until January 2021, but said in April that it will provide those impacted with health insurance and a stipend in autumn 2020 and pay for their bar exam and study costs. Equity partners have also agreed to receive half of their bonus amounts on the regularly scheduled payment date and the remaining half three months later.
 
ROPES & GRAY
Ropes & Gray in May said it is offering voluntary buyouts to its U.S. support staff. Staff approved for the buyouts will receive one week of severance pay for every year they worked at the firm plus an extra four weeks of pay.
 
RIVKIN RADLEY
Rivkin Radley in March said that its partners did not receive any compensation for that month and that it will temporarily reduce compensation for all attorneys and staff by 20%.
 
SAUL EWING ARNSTEIN & LEHR
Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr in April said partner draws have been reduced and that it is cutting salary for employees making more than $50,000 per year. It is furloughing and laying off some employees.
 
SEYFARTH SHAW
Seyfarth Shaw in April said it has furloughed 10% of its employees in the U.S., including some attorneys, for 90 days, but that it will pay the full cost of affected employees’ health coverage. On April 1, the firm reduced equity partner monthly draws by 20% and on May 1 all other U.S.-based attorneys will take a 10% pay cut. Most staff will take stepped pay cuts, with a 10% reduction on earnings above $150,000; 5% for earnings between $150,000 and $60,000; and 0% on the first $60,000 of earnings, the firm said. It also pushed back its start date for its first-year associates until January 2021. It canceled its formal summer fellow program but said that impacted students would get offers and a stipend.
 
SHEARMAN & STERLING
Shearman & Sterling in April said it had offered all of its employees the chance to take voluntary leave for three to six months at 30% of their usual pay, or 40% of pay if they use the time to perform pro bono work. It has shortened its summer associate program, pushing back its start date until at least late June, though students will still be paid for all the weeks they had originally planned to work.
 
SHEPPARD MULLIN
Sheppard Mullin in April said it has furloughed 33 of its 823 staff who cannot perform their jobs at home. Furloughed employees will receive full medical benefits and the firm’s partners and senior management have contributed funds to provide them with their full equivalent take-home pay while they wait for unemployment benefits to kick in, the statement said. The firm has also shortened its summer associate program to five weeks, and it will now start on July 6, with all impacted students to receive offers. It later said that the salaries of associates, special counsel and staff attorneys will be reduced by 12% through the end of the calendar year, and that it would furlough an additional 17 staff members. It said it would cut salaries for staff making between $70,000 and $90,000 by 5%, and for staff making more than $90,000 by 10%. For secretaries and selected staff the firm is implementing a workshare program; affected employees hours and compensation will be cut by 20%, but will be eligible to receive unemployment benefits.
 
SHOOK HARDY & BACON
Shook Hardy & Bacon in April said it will delay or defer various operating expenses, defer some partner distributions, reduce partner draws, introduce pay reductions and temporarily furlough some employees.
 
SIDLEY AUSTIN
Sidley in April said that its summer program will not start any sooner than June 1 and that start dates will vary by city. It also said there have been no changes to its compensation arrangements for summer associates.
 
SKADDEN ARPS SLATE MEAGHER & FLOM
Skadden in April said it would host an eight-week summer associate program that begins on June 22 and ends on August 14. It expects the program to start remotely, followed by an in-person portion. The firm will compensate students for the number of weeks they had originally committed to work and will be issuing an advance in mid-May to assist with living expenses.
 
SNELL & WILMER
Snell & Wilmer in April said that starting in May its partners’ monthly draws and the base salaries of its other attorneys will be reduced by 10%. Administrative professionals will take pay cuts ranging from 1% to 10% depending on their annual salaries. The firm has also furloughed some employees who cannot work from home or whose work has significantly declined because of the pandemic, but said it would continue to provide them health, life and long-term disability insurance.
 
SQUIRE PATTON BOGGS
Squire Patton Boggs in April said it is canceling its summer associate program but will make offers to impacted students and give them a $5,000 stipend in lieu of the 9-week program salary. It is also implementing a 20% reduction in salary for all associates, and support staff will take salary cuts ranging from 10% – 20%. It will furlough some staff. It said partners will carry the largest financial burden with profit distributions being adjusted. Incoming first-year associates in the U.S. will now start in Jan. 2021.
 
STOEL RIVES
Stoel Rives in April said that it will reduce partner distributions by 20% effective April 1. It said that starting May 1 it will institute a 20% pay reduction for associates, staff attorneys and of counsel attorneys. Also on May 1 it will implement tiered hourly reductions for staff with corresponding pay reductions: 5% for those earning less than $75,000; 10% for those earning $75,000-$100,000, 15% for those earning $100,000-$150,000 and 20% for those earning over $150,000, it said. The firm furloughed approximately 10% of staff members beginning April 17 for at least 90 days, though impacted staff will not lose their benefits. The firm said it would freeze hiring and spending, defer staff bonuses and eliminate associate bonuses based on hours.
 
SULLIVAN & WORCESTER
Sullivan & Worcester in April said it furloughed a few staff members, who could not do their job at home, for 90 days, but is continuing to provide them benefits. It said it will cut salaries by 5% for employees who make more than $66,000 a year and reduce monthly draws for non-equity partners by 10% and for equity partners by 20%.
 
TAFT STETTINIUS & HOLLISTER
Taft Stettinius & Hollister in April said that all partner draws have been reduced by 25% and that it reduced attorney headcount by 1.4% and staff headcount by 3.5%.
 
THOMPSON HINE
Thompson Hine in May said it has cut quarterly partner draws by 15% and that staff compensation is being reduced by 1.7% on an annualized basis. Its summer associate program will last six weeks and start in July.
 
TROUTMAN SANDERS
Troutman Sanders said in May that on June 1 it will cut pay for attorneys and staff, with reductions ranging from 2% to a projected 18.5%, depending on how many months the reductions last. It has delayed the start date for its incoming associate class until January 2021. Some staff will take voluntary leaves of absence. The firm suspended its summer associate program.
 
VEDDER PRICE
Vedder Price in May said it has reduced its workforce by 4% and provided affected persons with severance plus healthcare coverage through September. Shareholders have reduced their pay by 20%. It has shortened its summer program and deferred the start date of its incoming first-year associate class to January 2021.
 
VENABLE
Venable in April confirmed that all employees with salaries above $400,000 will take a 20% pay cut on all compensation plus 10% on compensation above $400,000. The firm will also introduce cuts of 20% for salaries between $400,000 and $190,000; 15% for salaries between $189,999 and $120,000; 10% for salaries between $119,999 to $75,000; and 5% for salaries between $74,999 and $60,000. The firm will also furlough some staff but it will continue to pay for their medical and dental benefits.
 
VINSON & ELKINS
Vinson & Elkins in April said it has delayed the start date for its summer associate program from May until no earlier than June 15.
 
WHITE & CASE
White & Case said in May that its summer associate program will be remote and will run for seven weeks starting on June 22. Pay is being pro-rated.
 
WILSON SONSINI GOODRICH & ROSATI
Wilson Sonsini in April said its summer program will be reduced from 10 weeks to six weeks and that it will begin on June 15. Summer associates will be paid a salary of $3,654 per week and will be made offers to join the firm as a fall associate in 2021. It may conduct a virtual program but said that those who received relocation benefits to travel to a Wilson Sonsini office for the summer will not need to repay those benefits.
 
WOMBLE BOND DICKINSON
Womble Bond Dickinson in March said it furloughed and laid off some U.S. employees and temporarily cut pay for at least some of its remaining staff and attorneys by 10% or less, with lower levels of compensation reduced by smaller percentages.

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