Despite the fact that the second wave of the coronavirus crisis seems to be gradually underway, biglaw companies continue to roll back their COVID-19 austerity measures. Cash appears to have been easy to come by for the most successful law firms during the pandemic. So why not
Today we have good news from Fox Rothschild, a company that had gross sales of $ 555,000,000 in 2019, ranking 69th on the latest Am Law 100 ranking. The company had already announced in April that it would lower the salaries of partners to employees across the board. Specifically, a staggered 10 to 15 percent wage cut would take effect in May for all attorneys and employees earning more than $ 100,000, while partners would cut their monthly draws by 10 to 20 percent. At the same time, the company announced that there would be no layoffs (but we have a feeling that the “productivity and performance-related layoffs” that have occurred were likely stealth layoffs). In September, half of the cuts in partners' monthly drawings and half of the cuts in salaries for lawyers and staff were restored. Now all of these cuts have finally come to an end.
In an announcement earlier this week, company-wide managing partner Mark Morris announced that starting November 1, monthly raffles for Equity Partners will prospectively be fully restored, and starting November 5, pay cuts for all lawyers and employees will prospectively be fully restored. Here is a statement we received from Morris on the company's recent salary updates:
Like many other law firms across the country, Fox Rothschild has been grappling with and addressing the economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic this year. Over the past seven months, we have continuously assessed our situation to ensure we maintain financial flexibility and remain in the best possible position to serve our clients and provide the strategy and support they need to navigate these uncertain times.
Based on our latest financial assessment, we are pleased to announce that we can lift the austerity measures implemented earlier this year.
We appreciate that many of our lawyers and employees have overcome significant obstacles and made sacrifices in many areas of their lives in the past seven months. They did this while serving our clients and the firm with the utmost professionalism, balance and perseverance. While the uncertainty and economic impact of the pandemic is likely to stay with us for the foreseeable future, I am confident that we will continue to provide our customers and each other with the services and support they need during these troubled times.
Congratulations to everyone at Fox Rothschild on the positive salary news.
If your law firm or organization is cutting salaries or restoring previous cuts, closing its doors, or reducing the number of its lawyers or employees, whether through overt layoffs, stealth layoffs or voluntary takeovers, please do not hesitate to let us know. Our large network of tipsters is part of what makes Above the Law thrive. You can email or text us (646-820-8477).
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Staci Zaretsky is Senior Editor at Above the Law, where she has been working since 2011. She would love to hear from you. Please send her an email with tips, questions, comments or criticism. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.