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IN BRIEF: Perkins Coie and Faegre Drinker cut associate pay

Caroline Spiezio  

Caroline Spiezio  

(Reuters) - Perkins Coie and Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath are cutting pay by 15% for non-partner attorneys, following earlier announced changes to partner compensation, as the coronavirus pandemic leads many large law firms to conserve cash.

Seattle-based Perkins Coie’s non-partner pay cuts go into effect in June, the firm said on Thursday. Staff making more than $200,000 will also take a 15% cut, and staff making $125,000 to $200,000 face a 10% reduction.
At Faegre Drinker, the temporary non-partner pay cuts started May 1, the firm said in a Wednesday statement. Staff earning $50,000 or more are also taking cuts of up to 15%. The firm has furloughed 1.5% of its personnel, many of whom couldn’t work from home, but will give them benefits. Its summer associate program start date is delayed, with a similar fate expected for its incoming associate class.
This is the second wave of cost cuts at both firms. Perkins Coie had in March started delaying 19% of partner payouts, the firm said. Faegre Drinker said in April it would defer one-third of equity partner profit distributions for its second quarter.
Faegre Drinker, the product of a merger between Minneapolis-based Faegre Baker Daniels and Philadelphia-based Drinker Biddle & Reath earlier this year, on Wednesday said it has separately eliminated staff positions made redundant by the combination, equaling 1.5% of total headcount.
Since mid-March, more than 50 large U.S. law firms have announced cost-cutting measures such as pay cuts, layoffs or shortened summer programs. Perkins Coie has more than 1,100 attorneys and Faegre Drinker has more than 1,300 lawyers and consultants, according to their websites.

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