Baker Botts To Eliminate About 50 Staff Positions

By Emma Cueto
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Law360 (October 8, 2020, 6:34 PM EDT) -- Baker Botts LLP confirmed Thursday that it is laying off "approximately 50" staff members, citing the "fundamental workplace shift" caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The firm said that the impacted staff members, who are in office services and secretarial services, were informed Wednesday and indicated that their last day will be Oct. 15.

"We will be parting ways with some wonderful people to whom we are deeply grateful for all they have done for the firm," Baker Botts said in a statement. "However, we must be responsive to the fundamental workplace shift created by the pandemic to ensure that we align our supporting resources with our clients' and our own business needs in this changed environment."

Baker Botts was among the first firms to begin walking back salary cuts it instituted during the beginning of the pandemic.

It had in April announced salary reductions of up to 30% for of counsel, up to 25% for staff and up to 20% for associates, rates that were on the high end of the type of cuts seen throughout the industry. The cuts only applied to those making more than $70,000.

The firm announced in late July it would be rolling those cuts back by half starting Sept. 1.

Thursday's announcement makes it the latest firm to end or reduce salary cuts but also decide to lay off employees. In the recent months, several BigLaw firms, including Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Baker McKenzie, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP and Nixon Peabody LLP, have announced that they have rolled back previous financial cuts but simultaneously confirmed layoffs, particularly affecting staff.

--Additional reporting by Aebra Coe and Xiumei Dong. Editing by Emily Kokoll.

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