DLA Piper and Several Major UK Firms Cut Partner Payouts
Posted Oct 22, 2009 10:18 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
An American law firm—DLA Piper—is among several law firms identified in a British publication that are holding back or reducing partner profit distributions.
DLA Piper continues to pay monthly distributions, but held back its quarterly distribution in August, Legal Week reports. The law firm pays quarterly distributions to partners only if targets are met at three levels—firmwide, by group and by the individual. The firm has not yet decided whether quarterly distributions will be paid in November.
Last year, DLA Piper shifted to a one-tier partnership structure, inviting 275 nonequity "income" partners to make capital contributions and become full partners. The aim was to strengthen the firm’s financial position.
Among the UK firms that have withheld quarterly distributions are Pinsent Masons, Eversheds and SJ Berwin, Legal Week says. Eversheds resumed payments in May, and Pinsent plans to pay its next distribution in December. Two other firms, Ashurst and CMS Cameron McKenna, reduced quarterly distributions over the past year.
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