Pryor Cashman Furloughs Associates Amid Pandemic

By Xiumei Dong
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Law360 (March 31, 2020, 8:26 PM EDT) -- In response to the economic uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Pryor Cashman LLP confirmed Tuesday that it has furloughed some associates.

Pryor Cashman is the latest law firm to take measures to reduce expenses in preparation for the economic slowdown caused by the novel coronavirus. The firm has declined to provide further details other than saying that it expects to reinstate the associates once the work picks up again.

"We have furloughed some associates whose workflow has been interrupted by the COVID-19 crisis," a firm spokeswoman told Law360 in a statement Tuesday. "We are hopeful and expectant that we can reinstate them as soon as their work levels approach norms again."

Although the implication of a furlough is that the firm will rehire the employee at some point, Pryor Cashman did not say when it plans to bring the associates back to work, nor did it say how many of them were put on leave.

According to the firm's website, Pryor Cashman has 186 lawyers and staff across its three offices in New York, Los Angeles and Miami. Firmwide, Pryor Cashman lists a total of 60 associates.

With a recession looming on the horizon, Pryor Cashman's news came as a slew of other law firms have also adjusted staffing levels.

Womble Bond Dickinson announced Monday it had made the "hard decision" to furlough certain employees and let others go. Remaining staff and attorneys will see their pay cut by up to 10%, according to the firm, though those with lower levels of compensation will see smaller reductions.

And last week, two New York-based law firms also confirmed that they have cut back on staff. Buffalo-based Goldberg Segalla LLP has reduced its workforce, eliminating positions it said would not be necessary in the current environment.

Meanwhile, Belkin Burden Goldman LLP announced that it would be making "adjustments to support staffing" in order to operate more efficiently, but that it has not laid off any attorneys.

--Editing by Breda Lund.

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