Covington & Burling wasn't among the Am Law 100 firms to cut or freeze salaries last year, and had held off doing so this year as well, but that all changed on Tuesday, when the firm announced it would freeze associate salaries at offices outside of New York City. The news was first reported by Above the Law. A firm spokeswoman confirmed the salary freezes and said the firm would provide no further comment.
The firm announced the freeze on the same day Reed Smith announced a 20 percent cut in first-year associate salaries and a similar cut in first-year billing rates.
Covington associates can at least take heart in the fact that their firm hasn't had to reduce base salaries, a move several high-profile firms have made in the last year.
The salary freeze is "based on an assessment of the market for associate salaries," the firm said.
This article first appeared on The Am Law Daily blog on AmericanLawyer.com.