Salary Cuts, Salary Freeze

Nationwide Salary Cut Watch: Less Dough for Pillsbury First Years

Salary Cuts.jpgFirst year associates at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman got a poke last night that didn’t make them “hee-hee.” The announcement was not made on the Acela. It came via a firm-wide email from executive partners Jeffrey Grill and Sheryl Stein.
All first years, except those in New York, are having their salaries cut. From the memo:

Based on our current assessment of the market for associate salaries and with our incoming first year associates joining the Firm shortly, the Firm has decided that, effective January 1, 2010, first year associates resident in our U.S. offices (other than New York) will be paid at an annual base salary rate of $145,000. First year associates resident in our New York office will be paid at an annual base salary rate of $160,000.

This isn’t the first salary cut at Pillsbury. Back in June 2009, the firm cut salaries based on utilization rates.
There is a caveat to this latest announcement. The firm recognizes that the market outside of New York is still “in flux” and it might raise salaries accordingly (and retroactively) if it sees fit in the future. Alternately, if first year associates outside of New York bake up 1950 hours, they’ll pull a $15k bonus out of the oven at the end of the year. See the full memo, after the jump.
What about the 2010 pay scale for the rest of Pillsbury’s associates?


For now, salaries at Pillsbury can be found in the frozen section (at the 2009 reduced scale, we presume):

For all other Firm associates, because of the significant changes still developing in the associate compensation market among our peer firms, we are not yet prepared to announce our 2010 salary schedule. We take the task of determining associate compensation very seriously and want to be sure that we have considered as much relevant information as possible before announcing a decision.
We expect to announce a 2010 salary schedule within the next month…. In the interim, until the 2010 salary schedule is announced, all second year (class of 2008) and more senior associates, including counsel, will continue to be paid at their rate of pay as of December 31, 2009.

There’s good news at the end of the email though. Piping hot 2009 bonuses will be served at the end of the month.
Earlier: Salary Cut Watch: Pillsbury Cuts Salaries Based on Utilization Rates
PILLSBURY E-MAIL TO ALL ASSOCIATES
From: Grill, Jeffrey B.
To: All-Associates; All-Senior Associates; All-Counsel
Cc: All-Partners; Green, Sara A. (Director); Johnson, Deborah L.
Sent: Wed Jan 06 19:45:45 2010
Subject: 2010 Associate Compensation – Update
Based on our current assessment of the market for associate salaries and with our incoming first year associates joining the Firm shortly, the Firm has decided that, effective January 1, 2010, first year associates resident in our U.S. offices (other than New York) will be paid at an annual base salary rate of $145,000. First year associates resident in our New York office will be paid at an annual base salary rate of $160,000.
We recognize that the market for first year associate salaries outside of New York among our peer firms is still in flux. Given that, we will continue to assess starting salaries outside of New York over the next month or so and may elect to increase starting salaries to ensure that we are paying competitive first year associate base salaries in all offices. If we elect to increase the starting salaries outside of New York, the salary increase will be retroactive to January 1, 2010.
In the event first year associate salaries outside of New York remain at the levels stated above, first year associates paid an annual base salary of $145,000 will be eligible for a $15,000 bonus at 1950 billable hours so that their total base compensation is equivalent to that paid to first year associates in New York.
For those first year associates outside of New York who joined the Firm before the end of 2009, your January 15 paycheck will reflect the new first year associate base salary. Your adjusted salary will be prospective, effective January 1, 2010.
For all other Firm associates, because of the significant changes still developing in the associate compensation market among our peer firms, we are not yet prepared to announce our 2010 salary schedule. We take the task of determining associate compensation very seriously and want to be sure that we have considered as much relevant information as possible before announcing a decision.
We expect to announce a 2010 salary schedule within the next month. In addition, as has been the case previously, counsel base salaries are determined by the Firm on an annual basis and will be communicated directly to each individual counsel once the 2010 salary schedule has been determined. In the interim, until the 2010 salary schedule is announced, all second year (class of 2008) and more senior associates, including counsel, will continue to be paid at their rate of pay as of December 31, 2009.
As always, at such time as the 2010 salary schedule is announced, increases in salary, where applicable, will be paid retroactive to January 1, 2010.
In addition, 2009 hours bonuses and 2009 utilization true-ups under the Firm’s 2009 productivity-based salary reduction program will be paid on January 31, 2010.
Please call either of us or Sara Green with any questions. Thanks so much.
Jeffrey Grill and Sheryl Stein
ADC Executive Partners

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