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Big Law Firms Reverse COVID-19 Pay Cuts
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Easing of COVID-19 cut reductions has recently become a trend among law firms that took on austerity measures back in spring amid the financial crisis caused by the pandemic.

Holland & Knight is among the Big Law firms to confirm that it has reversed some of the austerity measures it had made this spring in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The firm announced that earlier this summer it has partially restored some of the salary cuts for associates and counsel and brought back some staff that had been furloughed. Holland & Knight announced it has also rolled back some of the draw reductions for non-equity partners.


The firm said in a statement its financial performance has been “stronger than we anticipated when we first instituted the salary cuts.”

“Although the COVID-19 crisis has affected the firm, the effects have been moderated through the continuing commitment of our attorneys and staff. The partial restoration of the cuts recognizes their efforts,” the firm said, before adding that it is weighing whether to restore compensation cuts and staff furloughs further.

In May Holland & Knight announced that it would be cutting partner draws, salaries for its associates, and furloughing staff. Staff salaries were downsized by a range of 10% to 15%, while associates, counsel, and senior professionals saw their salaries reduced by 17.5%.

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However, at the end of June, the firm had restored 30% to 50% of the original 17.5%, 15%, or 10% cuts, with all associates receiving a 30% restoration of their salaries a spokesperson said.

Several other big law firms follow suit and reversing course on cost-cutting measures.

Loeb & Loeb confirmed in a memo last week that it will be reversing salary cuts implemented in April amid the coronavirus crisis.

The firm will restore salary cuts by 60% effective September 1st, and it plans to award annual year-end bonuses, wrote chair, Kenneth Florin.

Florin wrote that “the impact of this pandemic on our business has not been as damaging as we had feared.”

“We are, however, very much aware that this pandemic is far from over and its overall impact not yet clear,” he added.

Income partners, senior counsel, associates, and senior staff at Loeb & Loeb saw their salaries reduced by 15% in April and for paralegals and other staff by 10%.

Florin said cuts of 20% to monthly capital partner draws announced in April will remain in place.

Kilpatrick, Townsend, & Stockton is also walking back on the austerity measures implemented during the early stages of the COVID-19, with the firm confirming Friday it will return to pre-pandemic levels on September 1.

The firm will also return all secretaries to full time, and it will begin returning some attorneys and staff to their full hours.

In April, Kilpatrick confirmed it would be reducing partner draws by 10% and cut salaries for staff and attorneys by 5%. The firm also cut secretary hours by 20%, though their hourly pay rate remained the same. It also announced a hardship fund for employees struggling as a result of the pandemic.

Other firms to unwind measures include Crowell & Moring, Katten Muchin Rosenman, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, Fox Rothschild, K&L Gates, Baker Botts, Reed Smith, and Sheppard, Mullin, Richter, and Hampton.



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