Law Review: A law-firm CEO cuts his own pay

May 12, 2009
The Philadelphia Inquirer

Abraham Reich, co-chair of the firm, was quoted extensively in the article “Law Review: A law-firm CEO cuts his own pay,” by Chris Mondics. The article appeared in the May 12, 2009, edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Mondics discussed the recent cost pressures faced by area law firms – which caused Barton Winokur, Dechert L.L.P chairman and chief executive officer, to announce that he’s taking a $1 million pay cut.

Despite such actions, Mondics considers that perhaps giving in to cost pressure in recent years may have contributed to the current economic situation – and that firms like Fox Rothschild that followed a more conservative path, are now “reaping the benefits.”

In 2006, Fox Rothschild took a stance against increasing first-year associate pay – bucking the trend of several other area firms who raised base pay from $125,000 to $145,000.

Said Reich, “We did a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation and realized that it would cost us $3 million.”

Mondics noted that in a year that was a “gut-wrenching nosedive” for many firms, Fox had its best year ever in 2008 – with more than $200 million in revenue and expansion into the Stamford, Connecticut area. The firm’s focus on middle-market businesses and fiscal responsibility have also helped it retain and recruit prominent lawyers.

“If you have an economic slide, your quality people are going to walk and take their book of business with them,” Reich said.

Said Mondics, “At least for now, Fox appears to have avoided that fate.”