pay freeze salary freeze pay cut law firm.jpgThe latest news from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe will make Latham & Watkins associates feel marginally better. There is now another major firm freezing associate salaries:

After careful consideration, we have decided that associates in the US and Europe , and associates, senior consultants and consultants in Asia , will receive the same salary in 2009 as you received in 2008. Consistent with firm practice, of counsel salaries will be determined on an individual basis and generally will remain the same as 2008. We will ensure that our 2009 bonus program gives us additional flexibility to reward outstanding performance and remain competitive in the marketplace.

On the bright side, Orrick will be paying out the bonuses they promised earlier in the year:

We will pay full 2008 bonuses according to the terms of the program we announced earlier in this year.

That puts Orrick at Skadden levels. Notwithstanding the bonus news, a tipster puts the mood at Orrick like this:

:( Bummer.

Latham said that they were freezing salaries in part to avoid firing attorneys. But Orrick has already been through massive layoffs.

Is this move by Orrick an attempt to stave off even more layoffs?

Read the full Orrick memo after the jump.


Orrick Herrington Sutcliffe small.JPGORRICK — MEMO — PAY FREEZE

After careful consideration, we have decided that associates in the US and Europe , and associates, senior consultants and consultants in Asia , will receive the same salary in 2009 as you received in 2008. Consistent with firm practice, of counsel salaries will be determined on an individual basis and generally will remain the same as 2008. We will ensure that our 2009 bonus program gives us additional flexibility to reward outstanding performance and remain competitive in the marketplace.

Our decision is part of an overall effort we are making as a firm to adapt to the radically changed business environment in which we will operate in 2009. As we all know, the world economy is experiencing unprecedented volatility and uncertainty and it seems clear that these challenges will continue into the new year. In these times, we must rethink our traditional way of doing things and adjust our approach to reflect the reality facing our industry and our clients. This includes reassessing our compensation policies at all levels of our firm.

We will pay full 2008 bonuses according to the terms of the program we announced earlier in this year. These bonuses will be paid by the February 15 payroll in the U.S. and on or around that date in Europe and Asia, consistent with regional practices.

As always, I thank you for your many contributions to the firm and to our clients, particularly as we manage through this challenging time.

I plan to visit most of our offices in the first quarter of 2009. During those visits, I look forward to hearing your feedback and suggestions and giving you more information about our various plans to adapt to and thrive in the changing world.

Regards,

Ralph

Earlier: Associate Bonus Watch: Orrick Stands Behind Bonus Structure

Nationwide Layoff Watch: Orrick Lays Off Attorneys


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