At some point, perhaps in a few weeks or so, it will be easier to track the Biglaw firms that aren’t cutting salaries than those that are. But right now reports of salary cuts are coming in quickly, and each one has an impact on the overall landscape of Biglaw.
The latest firm to cut salaries is Snell & Wilmer, a firm with $262,000,000 in 2018 gross revenue making it 120th in the Am Law 200. Tipsters report Snell Wilmer is cutting associate salaries by 10 percent. Some staff, those who can’t work remotely, are also being furloughed, and the firm will keep paying their portion of benefits and give them legal advice to navigate CARES Act benefits.
Matthew P. Feeney, chair of the firm, provided this comment:
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Snell & Wilmer has been committed to doing everything possible to ensure the health and safety of our staff, attorneys, clients, and communities, while continuing to provide the highest quality legal services in a timely and efficient manner. Consistent with that commitment and in furtherance of the long-term success of the entire Snell & Wilmer family, we announce the difficult decision to implement pay reductions at the firm and furloughs for certain employees who are unable to work remotely due to the nature of their positions or whose work has significantly declined because of the current crisis.
In May, partners’ monthly draws and the base salaries of non-partner attorneys will be reduced by 10 percent. Administrative professionals will see reductions from 1 percent to 10 percent depending on their annual salaries.
The furloughed individuals are valued members of the Snell & Wilmer team and we expect to bring them back following the furlough. The firm will cover both the employer and employee portion of health, life, and long-term disability insurance premiums for all furloughed employees. Snell & Wilmer attorneys are assisting furloughed employees in obtaining unemployment and CARES Act benefits. These employees have also been invited to participate in our weekly staff town hall meetings.
These decisions were difficult, but we believe they will best serve our clients and our team. Going into this pandemic, Snell & Wilmer has never been stronger. We know this extremely challenging time will pass.
Best of luck to those dealing with austerity measures.
If your firm or organization is slashing salaries, closing its doors, or reducing the ranks of its lawyers or staff, whether through open layoffs, stealth layoffs, or voluntary buyouts, please don’t hesitate to let us know. Our vast network of tipsters is part of what makes Above the Law thrive. You can email us or text us (646-820-8477).
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Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, and host of The Jabot podcast. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).
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