It’s no secret that every law firm in town is keeping close watch on the economy, and figuring out how to trim the fat off the ledger as painlessly as possible. This morning’s news that Latham & Watkins has chosen to freeze associate salaries has The BLT wondering who else may be considering that tactic.
Washington’s Arent Fox is one firm that hasn’t ruled it out. Chairman Marc Fleischaker says all options are up for consideration, including salary freezes. “That’s definitely on the table as a possibility, but nothing’s been decided yet,” he says, explaining that his firm is “waiting to see where the year ends up” before making any big changes. He says associates have already been given their performance reviews, but have been told that decisions about their salaries are forthcoming.
Other firms around town have gotten creative in scaling back costs, too. Patton Boggs, for example, has cut back on maintenance costs in the D.C. office. Managing partner Stuart Pape says the firm used to pay the nightly cleaning crew pure overtime to come in and clean from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. The firm recently switched to bringing in the crew from six to ten, to cut down on the overtime pay. The move, says Pape, has saved “50,000 bucks.”