Pay Cuts, Layoffs, and More: How Law Firms Are Managing the Pandemic


At MinterEllison, equity partners have agreed to reduce drawdowns by half, effective immediately. It has also placed non-business-critical projects on hold, placed a freeze on new hires and deferred promotions until January 2021. Additionally, MinterEllison has introduced a temporary COVID-19 leave scheme and has asked all permanent employees to purchase six weeks of leave, which will be paid leave funded by a temporary salary reduction from April to December.

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo

In an email to the firm April 10, Mintz chairman Robert Bodian said[47] the firm will be decreasing staff and paraprofessional salaries by 5% across the board (with an exception for those making less than $75,000 per year) and will be reducing associate salaries by 10%. Discretionary bonus payouts have been reduced by 50% for staff and taken off the table for associates. The firm is instituting a holdback on 40% of equity partner profits (it was previously 30%), and monthly payouts to equity partners will be reduced by 10%, with nonequity partner payouts reduced by 5%.The email also said the firm is not in a position now where it needs to furlough or lay off attorneys or staff.

Munck Wilson Mandala

Midsize Texas firm Munck Wilson Mandala reduced compensation for partners, associates, exempt directors and managers, but said it had no plans to reduce attorney headcount. Managing partner William Munck said in a press release that a limited number of salaried employees will be furloughed and some hourly employees will work reduced hours, but all employees will receive full benefits. Additionally, several partners have chosen to defer their base salary for the next three months, Munck said. According to Munck, the firm intends to treat the reductions as compensation deferrals to be paid by the end of the year or when practical.

As of July 1,[48] a firm spokesperson said that month, it had resumed normal pay for all employees, and it did not reduce its head count. The firm’s managing partner, William Munck, did not return a message seeking additional comment about furloughed employees.

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