Buchanan Ingersoll Furloughs Staff As Pandemic Continues

By Michele Gorman
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Law360 (April 29, 2020, 7:13 PM EDT) -- Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC is among the ranks of law firms making employee and pay changes during the COVID-19 pandemic, confirming Wednesday that it has furloughed some staff members.

The Pennsylvania-based national firm, which according to its website has 450 attorneys and government relations professionals in 15 offices, told Law360 that it furloughed "a very limited number of administrative staff," as well as "temporarily adjusted compensation across all levels."

"We look forward to bringing these individuals back when the pandemic subsides," CEO and managing director Joseph Dougherty said in a statement.

Elsewhere in the legal industry, London-based Stephenson Harwood on Wednesday confirmed it furloughed 19 team administrators "whose roles were simply unable to be performed remotely." In addition, the firm said "a small number" of its outsourced colleagues, such as those in catering and hospitality, were furloughed.

The firm also said it has decided to withhold quarterly draws for equity partners "as a precautionary measure which is pertinent to take now."

Meanwhile, the firm — which employs 1,100 people at 10 offices in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, according to its website — is moving forward with bonuses and partner promotions, Morris said, adding that the firm has not furloughed any fee earners or reduced salaries or workweeks.

Still, the firm is considering how best to approach salary reviews.

The key benefit of waiting for now is that, as lockdowns across the globe begin to ease, we should have a clearer picture by then of what the next 12 to 18 months will hold, the firm said.

Earlier this week, Littler Mendelson PC and Davis Wright Tremaine LLP also announced similar cuts to weather the financial downturn of the COVID-19 outbreak.

--Additional reporting by Emma Cueto. Editing by Alanna Weissman.

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