Dentons sign Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM

Dentons European and Middle East board will meet next week to discuss whether to cut partner and fee-earner pay, as the firm joins others attempting to hedge themselves against the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic disruption.

The measures will be discussed in a board meeting in the second week of April, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

Speaking to Law.com International, the person said that the board needs to “have the full picture before taking any decision” as the crisis is “hitting countries differently and not all at the same time”.

Dentons currently operates in 183 locations across 75 countries, with governmental measures in response to the pandemic varying across the globe.

The person added that it is likely the firm will make changes to its partner and fee-earner pay and a decision will be made later in April.

If it does, it would join several firms which have already take pre-emptive action to shore up their finances.

A spokesperson for the firm said in a statement: ”Clearly this is a period that is causing unprecedented challenges. We constantly monitor all aspects of the UK & Middle East business and we will respond in a measured and proportionate way as the situation continues to evolve. Our priority right now is the well-being of our people and our clients.”

Yesterday, Law.com International reported that Allen & Overy has called for its partners to inject more capital into the firm, as well as gradually reducing its partner profit distributions and freezing associate and staff pay.

Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft will stop paying partners, cut associate salaries by 25% and impose pay cuts of 10% to 25% on its staff, while Reed Smith is reducing partner distributions.

Other firms including Linklaters are considering a reduction or a delay to the distribution of profits to their partners.

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