More Associate Salaries On The Biglaw COVID-19 Chopping Block


The Biglaw COVID-19 austerity measures show no signs of slowing down. With state and local governments struggling with how to best respond to the pandemic, the economic uncertainty grows. And the naturally fiscally conservative legal industry is trying to maintain its cash flow in these tumultuous times.

Quarles & Brady is the latest firm making cuts as COVID-19 rages on. As tipsters from the firm have told Above the Law, the firm, which made $266,790,000 in gross revenue in 2018 making it 117th on the Am Law 200, has decided to implement compensation cuts as part of cost-cutting measures designed to deal with the economic uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. The cuts are tiered by position and salaries.

We were on a call where the following was announced for all locations:

• Equity Partners taking 30% cut in quarterly distribution, then a a 20% in bi-weekly draws (indefinite length)

• Non-Equity Partners (making $200,000+) taking 15% pay reduction (indefinite length)

• Associates (and Non-Equity Partners making under $200,000) 10% pay reduction (indefinite length)

• Remaining Staff (indefinite length):

• 10% pay reduction for salaries above $75,000

• 5% pay reduction for salaries below $75,000

• Pay cuts begin with 4/16 paychecks.

• Some staff furloughed – 30 people. Covering their health insurance during this time, hope to re-hire.

And as tipsters note, the firm has furloughed a limited number (~30) of employees.

Michael Aldana, Managing Partner, had the following comment about the cost-cutting measures:

Quarles & Brady entered this period of disruption in a strong financial position with leading practices serving key industry sectors. But given the unprecedented nature of the global crisis, we have taken steps to respond appropriately to the current  economic climate. The firm has temporarily adjusted partner distributions and draws; temporarily adjusted compensation for all attorneys and staff; furloughed a small number of employees; cancelled our summer associate program; and adjusted our expense budget for the remainder of our fiscal year. Through these measures and a notion of shared sacrifice, we hope to minimize the economic impact on our people while maintaining the financial strength and resilience of the firm. The COVID-19 pandemic is changing our lives in many ways. What won’t change is our commitment to continuing to serve our clients’ legal needs efficiently and effectively in this rapidly changing environment.

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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