Los Angeles-based Latham & Watkins is freezing 2009 salaries at 2008 levels.
While we anticipate that the diversity of our practices and global reach will serve us well in the year to come, it seems clear that the global economy will continue to be challenged at least through 2009. As a result, we are modifying associate compensation as part of a prudent business strategy. Effective January 1, 2009, associates moving to the next class year will continue to receive the same base compensation as they received in 2008. …
We expect as a general matter to continue to reward outstanding performances through our merit-based bonus pool. As in previous years, we will announce bonuses in late January.
Above the Law notes that, unlike other firms, Latham does not promise to reexamine the salary situation in Q1. Latham associates can probably expect a pretty lousy 2009.
Happy New Year, Latham & Watkins!
Law.com suggests that the Latham salary freeze may start a trend:
“Everybody’s been waiting for some kind of signal from the market leader,” said consultant Peter Zeughauser, founder of The Zeughauser Group. “This will be a profound signal to the market about what to do.”