Pillsbury Cuts Pay For Attys, Staff In Face Of Pandemic

By Michele Gorman
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Law360 (May 4, 2020, 6:24 PM EDT) -- Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP has joined the ranks of law firms rolling out cost-saving measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, confirming Monday that it has made pay cuts in its U.S. offices to help shoulder the economic effects of the crisis.

The firm has implemented a "shared sacrifice" approach, which includes temporary compensation reductions for associates, counsel and staff members, a firm spokesperson said. Pay for associates and counsel will be reduced by 20%, and staff compensation will be reduced by a maximum of 15%, depending on salary.

Staff whose pay is less than $75,000 will not see a change, the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added that the firm's chief officers have voluntarily taken higher reductions in compensation, in line with those of the firm's partners.

The firm's approach also includes reducing partner draws on a progressive scale, by a minimum of 25%, the spokesperson said.

"Pillsbury has had a strong start to 2020 but the pandemic is both unprecedented and unpredictable, and economic conditions around the world continue to deteriorate," the spokesperson said in an email.

Pillsbury has 725 attorneys in offices across the U.S. and around the world in the United Kingdom, China, Japan and Taiwan.

The firm is not alone in making these decisions. The news comes on the heels of a slew of similar cost-cutting measures taken by firms.

Elsewhere in the legal industry, some firms have had to make changes to staff, including Squire Patton Boggs, which on Friday announced plans to cut pay for some members while furloughing others.

Last week, DAC Beachcroft LLP, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP and Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP announced cuts to weather the financial downturn of the crisis.

Firms are also changing their summer associate programs. Dickinson Wright PLLC, Morrison & Foerster LLP, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, Baker Botts LLP and Arnold & Porter have decided to cancel or amend their programs.

--Additional reporting by Aebra Coe and Xiumei Dong. Editing by Michael Watanabe.

Update: This article has been updated to include more details about Pillsbury's measures.

For a reprint of this article, please contact reprints@law360.com.

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