Bonuses, Holidays and Seasons, Parties, Secretaries / Administrative Assistants

Fried Frank Turns Holiday Party into a Robin Hood Affair

Fried Frank Harris Shriver Jacobson LLP Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgGiven the list of associate “perks” firms could be cutting back on during these tough economic times, the latest news from Fried Frank seems very reasonable. Associates at Fried Frank were told today:

Dear All,

In light of continued turmoil in the financial markets and the wider economy, and the effect it is having on so many we know, we think it is not appropriate to host Firm holiday parties this year.

The Firm has a strong platform and business with which to succeed in this very demanding business environment and continues to be involved in many interesting and challenging matters for our clients. Instead of the parties, the Firm will be making charitable contributions to certain organizations who rely on donations during the holiday season to accomplish their purpose during this time of year and which are feeling the effects of the slowdown in the economy.

Thanks very much.

Valerie Jacob and Justin Spendlove

Despite the success of last year’s bash at Cipriani on Wall Street, this would seem to help associates in two ways. It saves the firm money — without firing anybody. That is an unqualified good.

But also: who enjoys the firm holiday party anyway? It’s just an opportunity for associates to get too drunk and do something colossally stupid that will no doubt end up on Above the Law. (Please don’t cancel the holiday party Mr. Fried and Mr. Frank!)

Seriously though, saving a bit of cash is a good thing for associates. And not for nothing, but giving some extra money to charities during what is sure to be a terrible season for charitable donations is really a great thing to do. During times of economic recession people tend to give less, precisely at times when charities need more.

But it might not be all Salvation Santas at Fried Frank this winter. More after the jump.

Cutting back on frivolous expenses is certainly the way to go. But, as we mentioned with K&L Gates, there is a thin line between frivolous and “quality of life.” One source mentioned that Fried Frank has also removed the in-house ATM machine and replaced 20-ounce bottles of water with the 12-ounce variety. These are pretty petty concerns (for both associates and cost-cutters), but a recent tip suggests something more serious:

They’re cutting the secretaries’ bonuses for this year

Fried Frank has a policy of not talking about bonuses. But the rumor, if true, would be a tough blow to hardworking Fried Frank support staff. And probably freak associates out.

But, if they aren’t going to pay out bonuses to secretaries, then it’s probably a smart move to avoid the appearance of holiday-themed extravagance.

Earlier: ‘Tis the Season: A Round-Up of New York Law Firm Holiday Parties

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