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The sky may not be falling for U.S. law firms, but more than three months after nationwide coronavirus shutdowns brought the American economy to its knees, several firms are continuing to enact austerity measures, with Holland & Hart, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson recently joining the list.

A recent survey from Wells Fargo Private Bank found that a strong start to 2020 helped limit the slippage in demand to just a 1.4% drop for the first five months of the year. Nonetheless, the measures taken by these firms seems to validate Wells Fargo senior director of sales Joe Mendola’s conclusion that the impacts of dampened demand will become more immediate in the coming months.

Stroock’s response, from the beginning of June, includes both compensation reductions for all attorneys and many staff as well as optional buyouts for employees. Fried Frank is also offering buyouts for staff. And Holland & Hart also implemented compensation cuts at the start of this month.

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Dan Packel

Dan Packel covers change and innovation in the legal services market, and writes a weekly briefing for Law.com, "The Law Firm Disrupted," on these subjects. He is based in Philadelphia. Contact him at [email protected] On Twitter at @packeld

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