Reed Smith has announced that it will be making redundancies, cutting pay and furloughing staff in response to the impact of Covid-19.
A spokesman for the firm told RollOnFriday that "a group of fewer than 20 lawyers and fewer than 10 staff" would be made redundant in London. So that equates to roughly 5% of the London office's workforce of 350 lawyers.
The US-headquartered firm will also be introducing further pay cuts, having previously slashed pay in April. Non-equity partners at Reed Smith will have their pay reduced by 14%, while there will be pay cuts of 12.5% for counsel, 12% for associates and 6% for business services staff earning more than $100,000 (around £80,000).
Equity partners at the firm have already agreed to delay half of their bonus payments and cash distributions.
The majority of business services staff will have a reduction in working hours as they drop to a four-day working week with a commensurate salary cut. And a small number of employees will be temporarily furloughed.
"As a result of the prolonged economic uncertainty caused by COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to take further actions to ensure our business emerges from the pandemic in a position of strength," said Sandy Thomas the firm's global managing partner.
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Another US firm, Dorsey & Whitney, will also be cutting jobs in London - with associates in the firing line, RollOnFriday understands. Tim Maloney, head of the firm's London office, would not provide details, but confirmed there would be a "reduction in the firm's workforce" in order to "address the financial impacts of the coronavirus pandemic."
Maloney also confirmed that there would be pay cuts for lawyers and certain other members of staff which would "range from 10% to 20% for the remainder of the year." But that some lawyers "will have a reduction in billable hour guidelines and have the potential to receive special productivity bonuses at year-end".
“After intense deliberation, we made these hard decisions so that we will continue to be a strong, efficient law firm,” said the firm's managing partner Bill Stoeri, adding "there is an emotional toll that goes along with these measures and these times".