Law firms across Asia are struggling to deal with the financial impact of COVID-19, and Singapore is no different, after reports emerged that Dentons Rodyk and Big Four firm WongPartnership, two of the city-state’s largest firms, were cutting pay for lawyers.

According to the Business Times (BT), the two law firms have announced firm-wide wage cuts, which will be carried out by stripping out lawyers' “front-loaded” bonuses, or bonuses paid out in advance every month.

In the case of Dentons Rodyk, lawyers have had their advance bonuses cut since April. The report said that the firm will review the situation at the end of the year.

Meanwhile, WongPartnership lawyers across various level will have their front-loaded bonuses cut by between 5-10 percent from August, with these adjustments revisited periodically.

Joy Tan, a partner at WongPartnership, told BT that these pay cuts are “not purely prudential belt-tightening measures” but designed to give the firm flexibility in paying a differentiated bonus to reward the more deserving performers.

BT had also reported in in May that TSMP Law Corporation’s partners would be taking a 25 percent cut to stand in solidarity with clients.

 

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