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Squire Patton Boggs Cuts Salaries, Furloughs Staff Amid Virus

May 1, 2020, 3:24 PM

Squire Patton Boggs has announced that it will cut salaries and furlough some of its staff as Big Law copes with financial strain from the coronavirus crisis.

The changes, confirmed on Friday, will be temporary and will be reviewed on an on-going basis. According to the firm, partners will carry the largest financial burden with profit distributions for its global partners adjusted accordingly.

Associates will see their salaries reduced by 20%, the firm said, though the existing bonus program will not be affected by the reduction.

Global support staff at the firm will see salary cuts ranging from 10% to 20%, with the highest earning positions taking the largest reduction. The firm said it will also furlough some of its staff who are unable to perform their jobs remotely or are currently being underutilized.

“The global pandemic has created distress for companies around the world and will continue to for some time,” the firm said in a statement on Friday. “As responsible stewards of the firm and consistent with measures taken by other law firms, it is necessary to take prudent steps to assure the firm’s success and prevent job loss over the long term.”

On Thursday Squire Patton Boggs confirmed that it would cancel its 2020 summer associate program, with offers for its rising 3Ls to join the firm as associates in the fall of 2021 and its rising 2Ls to join the firm as summer associates next year.

Associates in the U.S. set to join the firm in September, however, will see their start dates deferred to January 2021. The firm said its U.K. trainees are expected to start in August as scheduled.

Squire Patton Boggs is the latest Big Law firm to announce reductions in salary and staff as the legal industry struggles to deal with the economic impact of Covid-19.

Davis Wright Tremaine announced on Tuesday that it would reduce its quarterly equity partner distributions and institute salary cuts ranging from 12% to 15% for associates, counsel, of counsel, contract partners, and C-level executives. The firm also said it would institute salary cuts for its staff ranging from 6% to 10% and furlough 8% of its staff to adjust for reduced demand.

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