Firms across the U.K. are rushing to pause their recruitment processes as the pandemic plays out.

Slaughter and May and Linklaters have paused associate recruitment due to the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, as other firms consider their recruitment strategies.

The market disruption caused by the virus has pushed both firms to put their associate recruitment processes on hold for the time being.

A spokesperson at Slaughters said in a statement to International’s Legal Week: “Given current circumstances, we have paused recruitment processes while ensuring we have the right resources in place to help our clients through the current challenges.”

Meanwhile fellow Magic Circle firm Linklaters is “pausing all bar the most essential recruitment” as a result of the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, a spokesperson confirmed to Legal Week.

The spokesperson added that the firm’s global graduate and trainee recruitment processes remain open.

Meanwhile a person with knowledge of the situation said CMS has also halted its associate recruitment program. A person at the firm said the firm is currently progressing “some key hires” but has stopped recruitment that was in the early stages. The person added that there will be a “higher bar” for new approval of hires.

U.K. top 50 firm Bird & Bird has put “some hires” on hold, according to a person at the firm, while White & Case is “looking carefully at all hiring at the moment across the various markets in which we operate, and being very selective in hiring”, according to a statement by a spokesperson.

The White & Case spokesperson added: “We’ll be keeping the issue of hiring under fairly constant review as the implications of the virus on business levels becomes clearer.”

The moves are the latest taken by industry players in response to the unprecedented global situation. Several listed U.K. firms have this week cancelled dividend pay-outs and slashed compensation in attempts to better hedge themselves financially.

Meanwhile the majority of global law firms’ staff are now working remotely, after more restrictions on travel were rolled out by countries this week.