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IN BRIEF: Ropes & Gray offers voluntary buyouts to support staff

Caroline Spiezio  

Caroline Spiezio  

(Reuters) - Ropes & Gray on Thursday said it is offering voluntary buyouts to its U.S. support staff, the latest law firm to take cost cutting steps amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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 – for a minimum of 12 weeks and a maximum of 30 weeks, Ropes & Gray confirmed on Thursday.
While more than 50 law firms have since mid-March announced pay cuts sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, which has shuttered courts and businesses and dried up litigation and deal work, Ropes & Gray is one of the first to offer voluntary buyouts.
The firm expects most of the departures tied to the buyout program to happen from June to August, but it will continue to pay its share of impacted staff’s medical, dental and/or vision insurance premium costs until the end of the year, it said in a statement on Thursday.
Legal industry blog Above the Law first reported the news.
Ropes & Gray said in a statement it is “strong economically” but that the buyouts are a proactive step as “views on the workplace are changing.” The firm said that does not mean it will have fewer offices after the pandemic.
The firm has 1,400 professionals in 11 offices, according to its website. It was founded in Boston.

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