Goodwin, Others Cut Jobs As Mintz Slashes Salaries

By Xiumei Dong
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Law360 (April 10, 2020, 6:22 PM EDT) -- In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Goodwin Procter LLP is trimming its global operations team, confirming Friday it has laid off "a limited number" of nonattorney staff, while Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC said it will cut all employees' salaries.

The moves come as a long list of firms reported taking cost-cutting measures over the past few weeks to weather the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also on Friday, Hodgson Russ LLP, based in Buffalo, New York, confirmed that it will reduce salaries for all employees by 15% and furlough 41 of its nonattorney staff, and labor and employment law firm Fisher Phillips LLP confirmed it has instituted a temporary 20% salary reduction for attorneys and staff.

Goodwin wouldn't confirm the number of layoffs, but according to a report by Above the Law, tipsters reckoned about 50 staff members were let go by the firm, which saw gross revenue rise to $1.33 billion last year.

"We recently reviewed the performance and size of our global operations team given the current and anticipated effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the global economy," a firm spokesperson told Law360 in a statement. "As a result of our analysis, we made the difficult decision to ask a limited number of our global operations team members to leave the firm."

Goodwin will provide severance packages to affected employees based on tenure, the spokesperson said. Additionally, the firm will continue to make contributions to their health care benefits through Sept. 30.

Boston-based Mintz, on the other hand, said Friday that it anticipates no layoffs and no furloughs in the near future. However, the firm is cutting salaries of all firm employees.

In a statement to Law360, a spokesperson said the firm has approved a series of economic measures in order to protect the overall health of the firm and keep everyone employed, and "everyone will make some sacrifices."

"The sacrifices will fall disproportionately on the equity partners, and be scaled downward from there," the spokesperson said.

As of April 19, the firm will reduce base pay by 5% for professional staff earning more than $75,000 and paraprofessionals, and 10% for associates, according to the spokesperson. There will also be some reductions in bonuses, the spokesperson added, but declined to provide further detail.

In an email managing partner Robert Bodian sent to employees, obtained by Above the Law, Bodian said the firm will not pay bonuses to associates, of counsel and paraprofessionals in June, and professional staff bonuses will be reduced by 50%.

The firm already took steps last month to reduce costs by increasing equity partner holdbacks to 40% and reducing partner draws by 5% to 10%, according to a separate email dated March 30.

Hodgson Russ' salary cuts and furloughs will go into effect Monday, according to the firm. Partner compensation was immediately reduced by more than 30%.

"We view today's steps as measured, prudent, and necessary to remain resilient for our clients and colleagues," Hodgson Russ managing partner Rick Kennedy said in a statement. "We hope the pandemic subsides and the world returns to some sense of normalcy very soon. In the meantime, all of our attorneys are fully operational and working remotely."

--Editing by Breda Lund.

Update: This story has been updated with additional information about law firm cost-cutting measures.

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