Mega Firm Announces Bonus Delays Amid COVID-19 Uncertainty

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The COVID-19 economic upheaval is coming for us all. Even the legal profession, which many perceive as staid and somewhat insulated from market fluctuations, has seen layoffs, furloughs, and associate salary cuts aplenty. As the days of social distancing and quarantine start adding up, even the very top of the Biglaw heap has implemented austerity measures, with Am Law 50 firms Bryan Cave and Orrick announcing pay cuts.

Now we’ve learned that the mega firm of Dentons has some cost-cutting moves on the horizon. Tipsters at the firm report that 2019 bonuses, which were due to be paid in full this month, will be delayed in part. The firm is paying 50 percent of attorneys’  2019 bonuses on schedule and delaying the second half until the second half of 2020. A more specific timeframe than that is unknown.

When reached for comment, a Dentons spokesperson had this to say:

Like many firms, we confirm that Dentons US is undertaking proactive steps to ensure the continued financial security of the Firm and our people. If there are early lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, the wisdom of prudent and resilient preparation is certainly one of them.  As part of that effort, we have adjusted the timing of bonus payments for our lawyers.  We remain focused on our people, clients, strategy and strength of the future.

Hopefully this move will prevent even more severe cuts, like layoffs.

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).

If you’d like to sign up for ATL’s Layoff Alerts, please scroll down and enter your email address in the box below this post. If you previously signed up for the layoff alerts, you don’t need to do anything. You’ll receive an email notification within minutes of each layoff, salary cut, or furlough announcement that we publish.

headshotKathryn 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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