[A]s a Christmas “bonus” this year, partners at Clifford Chance were each required to make a capital contribution of £100,000 (roughly $150,000). Ouch.
Through a spokesperson, Clifford Chance declined to comment. But, if true, the news would not be completely shocking. The firm has done at least two rounds of layoffs, and they paid bonuses that were down sharply from prior years (although, in fairness to CC, at market levels for 2008).
If true, Clifford wouldn’t be the only firm looking to its partners for financing. As previously discussed, because of super-tight credit markets and the high cost of borrowing, more firms are financing their operations by tapping partner wallets. See, e.g., DLA Piper (letting some income partners become equity partners, if they can cough up capital contributions of up to $150,000).
Associates: next time you complain about greedy partners slashing your pay, consider the possibility that they’re suffering too in this economy. They’re trying to safely navigate the recessionary shoals, just like the rest of us. Some of the measures they’ve been taking, like pay freezes and reduced bonuses, may just be prudent planning. Better to have a smaller paycheck than no paycheck at all.
Are you aware of other firms that are hitting up their partners for cash in these dire times? Drop us a line, by email (subject line: “[Firm Name]: Capital Contribution”). Thanks.
Earlier: Biglaw: Welcome to the Credit Crunch