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Biglaw Firm Cuts Associate Salaries But Push On With Merger

 |  May 10, 2020

Pepper Hamilton on Friday, May 8, stated it is cutting pay across the firm due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that it still plans to merge with another one of the largest US law firms, Troutman Sanders, on July 1. 

The Philadelphia-based firm has reduced distributions to its partners and is introducing salary cuts that amount to an annualized salary reduction of under 12% for all other attorneys, it said in a statement on Friday. 

All staff with salaries of US$60,000 or more will have their salaries reduced on a graduated scale, with annualized cuts for the majority of those employees ranging between 3% and 9%.

The combination was originally scheduled to be completed by April 1, but due to the coronavirus, that was postponed to July 1. But tipsters at the firm told Above the Law even this extended timeframe sticks in the craw of many now asked to deal with such a substantial pay cut:

“What I cannot understand, and what is baffling just about every Pepper attorney I talk to, is that we are proceeding with the Pepper / Troutman merger to be effective on July 1st! Mergers are being cancelled left and right in this market because they are incredibly expensive, mainly from an integration perspective (integrating technology systems, accounting departments, marketing departments, practice groups, etc., etc.). Many attorneys are confused as to why we are spending many millions of dollars on merger integration costs, when partners, counsels, associates and staff are taking 20% pay cuts! Why not put that integration money towards employees at a time during which we are all so vulnerable, and hold off on the merger until the times improve? All energy should now be on taking care of our clients and employees, and bringing in whatever new business is out there – not wasting millions of precious dollars on an unnecessary expense during the most critical time in our history. I think the vast majority of Peppers feel this way.”

Full Content: Above the law

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