Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has announced that it will freeze associate and consultant salaries in 2009. Associates were notified by the following e-mail, which was sent to Legal Times by Orrick’s senior communications coordinator Adi Weisman:
After careful consideration, we have decided that associates in the U.S. and Europe, and associates, senior consultants and consultants in Asia, will receive the same salary in 2009 as you received in 2008. Consistent with firm practice, of counsel salaries will be determined on an individual basis and generally will remain the same as 2008. We will ensure that our 2009 bonus program gives us additional flexibility to reward outstanding performance and remain competitive in the marketplace.
Our decision is part of an overall effort we are making as a firm to adapt to the radically changed business environment in which we will operate in 2009. As we all know, the world economy is experiencing unprecedented volatility and uncertainty and it seems clear that these challenges will continue into the new year. In these times, we must rethink our traditional way of doing things and adjust our approach to reflect the reality facing our industry and our clients. This includes reassessing our compensation policies at all levels of our firm.
We will pay full 2008 bonuses according to the terms of the program we announced earlier this year. These bonuses will be paid by the February 15 payroll in the U.S. and on or around that date in Europe and Asia, consistent with regional practices. As always, we thank you for your many contributions to the firm and to our clients, particularly as we manage through this challenging time.
Latham & Watkins announced pay freezes two weeks ago—a move that other lawyers and legal consultants predicted would set off a trend. Orrick reported gross revenue of $772 million in this year’s Am Law 100, and profits per partner of $1.66 million.