Another global firm freezes pay rises, cuts pay for partners

Another global firm freezes pay rises, cuts pay for partners

17 April 2020 By Jerome Doraisamy
HFW

A global law firm with an Australian presence has put in place measures to steer the business through the global coronavirus pandemic.

HFW has confirmed with Lawyers Weekly that it has implemented numerous measures in its offices across the globe in order to manage COVID-19.

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These measures – which also apply to the firm’s Australian offices – include: deferring a portion of pay for partners, freezing pay rises for the 2020-21 financial year and having all staff take 25 per cent of their annual leave by the end of June 2020.

In addition, the firm has furloughed a “small number” of staff members and is actively cutting back on discretionary spending.

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Speaking about the measures implemented by the firm, HFW’s London-based managing partner Jeremy Shebson said: We remain busy working with clients across our industry sectors and international network to help them minimise the impact of COVID-19 on their business – and to prepare for what’s next.”

“These are uncertain times, however, so we’re taking prudent steps as a business to prepare us for that uncertainty, he added.

On its website, the firm has stated that it is continually monitoring the outbreak of coronavirus and is putting in place contingency plans to protect its “colleagues, clients and everyone in the HFW community”.

HFW is one of a number of BigLaw players that has enacted measures pertaining to remuneration and entitlements in the wake of COVID-19. Earlier this week, Ashurst cut partner draws by 20 per cent and asked employees to adopt an 80 per cent work pattern and take an equivalent reduction in remuneration.

Recently, Lawyers Weekly reported that Herbert Smith Freehills has also reduced partner profits and cancelled salary reviews, Gilbert + Tobin has cut back on 50 per cent of partner draws and Norton Rose Fulbright has temporarily stood down 3 per cent of staff and asked the remaining employees to work reduced hours.

Another global firm freezes pay rises, cuts pay for partners
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