London

Osborne Clarke has become the latest U.K. firm to cut staff pay and reduce partner drawings as part of its latest set of financial measures aimed at mitigating the damage of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Staff pay across the firm’s U.K. offices will be reduced by 7% for all employees earning above £30,000 per year. Meanwhile, partners will also be subject to a 10% reduction in their monthly drawings. 

Both reduction measures will be in place for 11 months from the start of June and affect the U.K. LLP. 

According to managing partner, Ray Berg, the firm is committed to repaying the 7% earnings to staff at a future date, dependent on the firm hitting a financial target. Berg added that repayments to staff would be made, subject to these targets being met, before profit distributions to partners are paid out in full.

“Everything we’ve done has been designed to prevent redundancies based on the current forecasts – we believe the measures to be sufficient to do that,” Berg said.

In a statement, the firm also confirmed that staff who are already furloughed would see their furlough period extended until the end of June. The firm is also offering all employees voluntary options which include taking a part-paid sabbatical, early retirement, a reduction in hours or moving to a job share.

Berg also added that the firm’s next cohort of trainees and associate qualifications would go ahead as normal. 

An Osborne Clarke spokesperson said: “While there are encouraging signs that the pandemic is abating in the UK and in some of our international markets, normal economic and business activity is expected to remain subdued at best, throughout 2020, and possibly beyond.

“While we are in a relatively strong cash position, and introduced more stringent cost control a few months ago, the partnership has agreed that further measures are prudent.”

Last month, Oborne Clarke announced it was shutting its Hong Kong office, citing coronavirus as well as ongoing protests as reasons behind the move.

Osborne Clarke is just the latest of many firms to take additional financial measures in light of the ongoing pandemic. Both Squire Patton Boggs and Hill Dickinson have implemented similar reductions to staff salaries while other firms including Taylor Wessing, Dentons and DLA Piper have initiated reduced working hours schemes.

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