find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Competition, Policy & Regulatory
Category: Other | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Work with a well regarded Partner · Sydney CBD
View details
Commercial Litigation Senior Associate
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Lawyers Weekly Australia Partner of the Year 2016, Insolvency
View details
MULTIPLEX Regional Legal Counsel (Vic) | 7 to 10 years + PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Career defining in-house role · Tier One international contractor
View details
Junior Lawyer - Personal Injury Law
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Parramatta & Western Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Highly specialized practice · Challenging role with great opportunities
View details
IR Advisor/Member Advocate
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: St Leonards NSW 2065
· Permanent (0.8-1.0 FTE) role in a developing team
View details
Dechert partners impose own pay cuts

Dechert partners impose own pay cuts

MORE than 30 partners at one of the US's biggest law firms have agreed to take pay cuts as the global financial crisis worsens.

MORE than 30 partners at one of the US’s biggest law firms have agreed to take pay cuts as the global financial crisis worsens.

International law firm, Dechert, has confirmed that 36 of its highest-paid partners at the Philadelphia-based office have agreed to take a cut in salaries, the AM Law Daily reports.  

The news follows a Philadelphia Inquirer report that firm’s chairman, Barton Winokur, would take a $1 million pay cut. 

Winokur disclosed the self-imposed pay cut, actually a reduction in his draw from firm profits in late April. In 2007 The American Lawyer reported that the firm's highest-paid partners, Winokur included, had earned nearly $8m the year before, while the firm’s per-partner profits average more than $2m. 

In recent months Dechert has taken a number of cost-cutting steps to safeguard itself against further market mayhem.

Winokur declined to comment to media about the pay cut, but a firm spokeswoman confirmed that Winokur, along with 36 other Dechert partners, were taking pay cuts. The current partner pay cuts are based on a percentage of each partner's annual draw, the spokeswoman said, declining to detail those percentages. Depending on the firm's performance over the next few months, partners could recoup that money in bonuses at the end of this year.

Dechert announced a fifth round of layoffs in March, eliminating 125 attorneys and staff members worldwide.

According to Am Law 100 financial data, revenues for the firm fell two per cent last year to $816m and profits per equity partner dropped 9 percent from $2.35m in 2007 to $2.14m in 2008.

In 2006 Dechert's revenues grew faster than all but a few firms that scored big contingency fees or had a merger. Profits per partner hit $1.99m, just a tick below the top Wall Street players and the firm showed above-average growth rates in revenue per lawyer and value per lawyer.

Dechert's formula for success has been to raise rates aggressively, expand head count while tightening up the equity partnership, focus on a few core practice areas, and grow the ranks in London, where the firm has 121 lawyers, and New York, home to 223 more. 

Partners credit Winokur, 69, for much of the firm’s growth. Winokur helped sell partners on a five-year plan to mold the firm into a more profitable one in 2001 and has worked to keep the equity partners focused on those goals. 

However, the global financial crisis was not in that plan and in the past year the number of equity partners has fallen from 163 to 152 last year, with the total number of lawyers employed by Dechert coming down to slightly under 900. 

Addressing the changing economic conditions has also seen the firm prepay about $29m in expenses, such as rent for office space, so far this year. However, unlike other firms, Dechert carries no debt and in a sign of optimism recently expanded its operations to Moscow, opening a new office there. 



Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Dechert partners impose own pay cuts
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Human body, illegal organ trafficking, ALHR
Sep 22 2017
Australia poised to combat illegal organ harvesting: ALHR
The Australian Lawyers for Human Rights are calling for changes to the law so that organ trafficking...
Online service, barristers, BarristerSELECT, Stephen Foley
Sep 22 2017
New online service leverages barristers’ clerks to aid briefing
A new online tool has been launched to help NSW solicitors find the most suitable barristers for the...
NSW District Court judge, Tim Gartelmann SC, next appointment,
Sep 22 2017
Silk replaces outgoing NSW District Court judge
A barrister has been named as the next appointment to the NSW District Court, following the retireme...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...