Loeb & Loeb To Slash Atty, Staff Pay To Avoid Layoffs

By Hailey Konnath
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Law360 (April 2, 2020, 9:07 PM EDT) -- Loeb & Loeb LLP is hitting its lawyers and staff with temporary pay cuts of up to 20% as the firm grapples with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, a move designed to stave off layoffs and furloughs, the firm confirmed Thursday.

Los Angeles-based Loeb & Loeb LLP is reducing capital partners' monthly draws by 20% and cutting employee pay as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. (AP)

Specifically, capital partners at the Los Angeles-based firm will see 20% reductions in their monthly draws, and the April capital distribution has been deferred until July to coincide with tax filing deadlines, according to a memo obtained by Above the Law and confirmed by Loeb & Loeb. Income partners, senior counsel, of counsel, associates and senior staff — like senior administrative and management team members — will have their pay cut by 15%, the firm said in the memo. And paralegals and other staff will see 10% cuts.

A Loeb & Loeb spokesperson told Law360 on Thursday that the firm looks forward to lifting the reductions "as quickly as we possibly can."

"Our firm entered this economic crisis strong and we remain so," she said in the statement. "However, given the current uncertain environment and in keeping with our conservative approach to business, we are taking the steps we believe are prudent at this time."

Loeb & Loeb joins a growing list of firms imposing temporary pay cuts or other cost-saving measures in the midst of COVID-19. On Wednesday, Tennessee firm Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz PC said it would be furloughing employees and implementing salary reductions over the next few weeks, though it declined to answer questions about the extent of the pay cut or how many employees would be placed on leave.

Also on Wednesday, New York law firm Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu PC told all of its employees that their salary will be reduced by 15% as the firm deals with the COVID-19 crisis.

Earlier this week, Pryor Cashman LLP, Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP, Womble Bond Dickinson and Reed Smith LLP also unveiled plans that ranged from 25% pay cuts to suspending employer 401(k) matches to layoffs and furloughs.

Meanwhile, Southern California-based Hueston Hennigan LLP bucked that trend and boosted pay for its attorneys and staff while promising not to lay anyone off or cut pay. Name partner John Hueston told Law360 on Wednesday that staff will get $1,000 bonuses while attorneys working remotely will get $500 at-home technology bonuses, an attempt at helping the firm's employees during a challenging financial time.

--Additional reporting by Xiumei Dong, Emma Cueto, Aebra Coe and Mike LaSusa. Editing by Bruce Goldman.

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