Holland & Knight partners have bucked the trend for lower associate bonuses by paying themselves less
Partners are sacrificing between 6 and 10 per cent of their bonus compensation and have pledged to leave associate bonuses untouched. The cuts will be made across the board, irrespective of individual, practice or office performance. One of the hardest-hit offices will be Orlando, where Holland & Knight has notched up one of its best years. But Orlando executive partner Howell Melton was philosophical about the reduction, saying that partners in his office would have been in line for increased pay, but said they were, "all in this together". The New York office fared less well. Located close to the World Trade Center, it was forced to close following the 11 September terrorist attacks, significantly denting its turnover. Managing partner Robert Feagin told The Recorder: "The World Trade Center attack was such a traumatic thing for our firm, it will be sometime before we can say we're operating at the same level we were before. But it's a time that has given us a pause to look ahead and say, what do we need to do to make ourselves stronger?" Assuming associates meet their billing targets they will take home bonus payments ranging form around $3,000 (£2,100) to $24,000 (£17,000). What has not been commented on, is how likely it is that associates will have sufficient work to meet their targets. In November, Holland & Knight's New York office rescinded eight summer associate offers. Feagin argued that lowering partner pay packages was a pragmatic move to suffer short-term loss for long-term gain. He said that business owners have to make tough choices to keep their businesses going forward. Melton said that inevitably some people would regard lighter pockets in a less than positive light. He asserted that if they agree with the concept of a single firm, sharing both ups and downs, they will ride out the cutbacks.