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Squire Sanders Cuts Associate Pay 10 Percent; Expert Sees a Trend

Posted Apr 30, 2009 7:56 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Squire Sanders & Dempsey is cutting associate pay by 10 percent, joining a handful of other law firms that have made similar moves. Is a trend afoot?

The law firm announced the pay cut and the layoffs of 32 lawyers on Wednesday, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Law firm consultant Peter Zeughauser told the newspaper that Squire Sanders likely won’t be the last firm to cut pay.

"It's revolutionary. This trend has never happened before," he said of the salary cuts. "But I think others are going to follow suit."

The article identified these law firms as also cutting pay for associates: Thompson Hine, Chadbourne & Parke and WolfBlock, which announced the pay cut before its decision to dissolve. Also cutting pay for new associates are McGuireWoods, McKenna Long & Aldridge, Greenberg Traurig and Allen Matkins.

The 10 percent cut means pay for new associates at Squire Sanders will drop from $130,000 to $117,000. The law firm laid off 30 lawyers and paralegals in November and laid off an unknown number of additional staffers in January.

Timothy Sheeran, hiring chairman at Squire Sanders, told the Plain Dealer that the pay cuts are "responsive in part to what clients want to see us doing." He said clients said "the value that we provide is out of line in some cases with what we are charging for our work."

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