Allen Matkins, a mid-sized California firm, is the latest firm to offer the “hemlock package” of layoffs and salary cuts.
The layoffs at Allen Matkins were relatively small. Only about ten people, six of whom were associates, according to ATL tipsters. But the salary cuts were more substantial. According to one tipster:
First year salary has been reduced from $160K to $145K. A number of other associates (excluding first years) were informed that their salary would be reduced by 15% or 30%. Those associates were told that they were selected to receive “adjusted” compensation based on their hours, although the actual method for determining which associate would be subject to this salary adjustment was not disclosed and remains unclear.
Other tipsters weigh in after the jump.
The Allen Matkins sources we spoke with were just as concerned with the firm’s apparent misdirection as they were with the simple facts of the layoffs and salary cuts:
These layoffs come after department meetings where associates were virtually assured that no layoffs would take place, and managing partner Brian Leck was recently quoted in the Daily Journal, indicating that the firm would lay off associates only as a last resort.
Allen Matkins has been extremely successful at recruiting partners and associates from top-tier / white shoe firms by promising an improved sense of community, where firm attorneys are genuinely seen as part of a collective enterprise. Apparently the “collective” model only applies so long as PPPs … are not threatened.
Brian Leck did not respond to ATL’s multiple requests for comment.
One tipster even referred us back to Allen Matkins initial entry into the $160K market back in 2007. As the firm was raising salaries from $145K to $160K, Brian Leck wrote:
Consistent with our commitment to provide the highest quality legal services to our clients and to have the best attorneys to produce those services, Allen Matkins will raise the base compensation if its 1st year associates to $160,000 and will increase the base compensation of associates in the classes of 2005 through 1998 by $15,000, as well….
Our clients, our people and our culture are our most important assets, and we believe that these increases are consistent with the importance we give to them.
Our tipster asked simply:
Does this mean I’m not as important, or does they pay cut reflect that clients and culture are not as important?
Aww … don’t feel that way brother. You still have a job, you still have a six figure salary, “you still Lieutenant Dan.”