Fox Rothschild Does Away With Firmwide Pay Cuts

By Aebra Coe
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Law360 (October 15, 2020, 5:41 PM EDT) -- Fox Rothschild LLP is the latest law firm to nix pay cuts implemented this spring due to the coronavirus pandemic, announcing Thursday that as of Nov. 5, all attorney and staff salaries will have been restored to their full pre-COVID-19 levels.

The Philadelphia-based firm unveiled a plan on April 20 to cut pay between 10% and 15% for all attorneys and staff earning more than $100,000 a year, and to reduce equity partner draws by 10% to 20% in response to the economic uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.

Those cuts were partially rewound in September when the firm scaled them back by half, but in a statement Thursday, Fox Rothschild managing partner Mark L. Morris said that the firm had chosen to do away with them entirely going forward.

"We appreciate that many of our attorneys and staff have overcome significant obstacles during the past seven months and made sacrifices in many aspects of their lives, and they have done so while serving our clients and the firm with the highest degree of professionalism, poise and perseverance," Morris said in the statement.

"While the uncertainty and economic impact of the pandemic will likely remain with us for the foreseeable future, I am confident that we will continue to forge ahead and provide our clients, and each other, with the services and support needed during these trying times," Morris added.

Partner distributions will be restored to their pre-pandemic levels on Nov. 1 and salaried and hourly employees at the attorney and staff level will see their pay restored on Nov. 5, the firm said.

Many firms are restoring salaries after slashing pay in the earliest weeks of the outbreak.

Some firms that have done so in October include Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, Stoel Rives LLP and Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.

Last month, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP and K&L Gates LLP confirmed that they are eliminating the salary reductions implemented earlier this year.

In addition to reversing the austerity measures, a small but growing list of law firms, including Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, Milbank LLP, Hueston Hennigan LLP, Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP and Cooley LLP, have begun giving out special pandemic-related bonuses to associates.

Many of those firms said they would match a bonus scale set forth by Davis Polk early on, offering U.S. associates extra cash awards of up to $40,000.

--Additional reporting by Michele Gorman, Dave Simpson and Emma Cueto. Editing by Alyssa Miller.

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