Last May, Reed Smith announced a 10 percent across-the-board salary cut for its associates. The cut went into effect on July 1, 2009.
This week brought salary and bonus news from the firm. From one Reed Smith source:
Reed Smith announced 2010 compensation today. The firm’s “raises” are essentially only restoring the original salary levels that we all had before the firm’s universal 10% cut in 2009. I have not heard of anyone receiving any sort of bonus.
UPDATE / CORRECTION: Actually, it appears that the salary announces were highly individualized — and all over the map. Some associates received sizable raises, some received modest raises, some were kept frozen, and some saw their salaries cut even further. Most appear to be unhappy: “Morale is very low,” said one.
Bonuses were announced too. A different RS source informed us: “Salary and bonus memos are out. Bonuses are per usual, a set structure based on hours.” But the Reed Smith bonuses may have been more theoretical than practical. “I think that very few people hit [the required] hours,” this tipster told us.
There’s a bit more Reed Smith news, most of it not happy….
As reported by the BLT, a D.C. court has reinstated a wrongful termination lawsuit brought against the firm by a former associate:
The former associate, Danielle Cesarano, who now works at the State Department, filed a complaint against Reed Smith in October 2003. Cesarano, who is represented by Webster, Fredrickson, Correia & Puth, had complained internally earlier that the firm was not providing her reasonable accommodation for a physiological disorder she developed after burning her dominant hand in 2001 at a Reed Smith trial training program.
How do you burn your hand during a training program? Is Biglaw turning into a white-collar “Survivor” faster than we thought?
Finally, in other problematic news for Reed Smith, a source reports:
A criminal trial is ongoing in PA right now, in which five defendants, including the former PA House Minority whip, face numerous felony counts arising from the criminal conspiracy set forth in the Presentment.
[O]n Wednesday, state employee Melissa Lewis gave testimony identifying Reed Smith partner Efrem Grail by name, and indicating that Reed Smith is the unnamed “law firm” referenced in the Presentment.
This is a bit heavy for a Friday afternoon — one of our sources compared it to Watergate — but maybe we’ll revisit this “bonusgate” scandal next week, when we’re more in the mood for heavy lifting. If you have info, feel free to email us (subject line: “Reed Smith and bonusgate”).
D.C. Appeals Court Revives Wrongful Termination Suit Against Reed Smith [The BLT: Blog of the Legal Times]