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Ogletree Deakins Eliminates Pandemic-Related Pay Cuts

Sept. 9, 2020, 6:07 PM

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart is getting rid of all salary cuts for its lawyers and staff as law firms continue to walk back their pandemic-related austerity measures.

The firm said in a statement to Bloomberg Law on Wednesday that due to “a recent improvement in business and a strong pipeline through the end of the year,” all salary reductions imposed earlier this year have been rescinded, effective Sept. 1. The firm said it originally made the announcement internally via email on Tuesday.

In response to effects from the coronavirus pandemic, the labor and employment-focused firm had adopted a 15% salary cut for all attorneys and a 10% salary reduction for professional staff making more then $100,000. Those cuts made in May were originally slated to continue through the end of 2020.

But by limiting them to only four months, the annualized impact on lawyers equates to a 5% reduction in compensation and a 3.3% reduction for affected staff, the firm said.

The firm also announced bonuses for associates, counsel and of counsel who met certain billable hour or production thresholds.

“The Board remains bullish on the future of the firm, despite the many unique challenges brought by a global pandemic,” the firm said.

Ogletree Deakins is just the latest Big Law firm to walk back salary cuts implemented in response to economic impact of the coronavirus.

On Tuesday Holland & Hart said it would be returning all of its employees to their full 2020 salaries and reinstating its 401(k) matching contributions.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meghan Tribe in New York at mtribe@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Tom P. Taylor at ttaylor@bloomberglaw.com