The song “Cleveland Rocks” always seemed like a bit of a stretch to me, and yesterday’s events did nothing to dissuade. We’ve received several reports that 400-attorney Midwestern firm Thompson Hine has been conducting layoffs in its Ohio offices, including its Cleveland one:
12 lawyers, 5 paralegals, and 29 secretaries.
Another tipster reports that the layoffs number “at least 50.” Apparently three first year associates were among the carnage.
If this post sounds like run-of the mill layoff story about a small firm in a distant kingdom, you’re absolutely right. Except for the part where Thompson Hine takes away its 2007 salary bump and employs the second most terrifying economic deflection tactic we’ve seen yet:
word is that the firm has cut every associates’ salary by $20,000/year.
The firm has not responded to our request for comment, but if true, Thompson’s use of the Salary Cut marks the second appearance of this dastardly weapon since the economy tanked. Recall that last week, WolfBlock chopped associate salaries by 10%.
Update: The firm has confirmed the pay cut and layoffs, to Am Law Daily:
Earlier this week Cleveland’s Thompson Hine told its associates and other non-partner lawyers that it will impose an across-the-board $17,500 base salary reduction. Those lawyers will, however, be able to earn back some or all of that sum as a bonus if they bill at least 1,750 hours this year….
The firm also announced layoffs this week, eliminating the jobs of 12 associates, five paralegals, and 29 secretaries. Furthermore, it has pushed back the starting date for its incoming first-year class to January 2010.
Thompson Hine M.P.: Associate Pay Cut Expected to Save Jobs [Am Law Daily]