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White & Case partners’ quarterly profit distributions for the third quarter of this year have fallen 30 per cent on the same period last year, with the total pool dropping from $35m (£21.2m) to $25m (£15.2m).
This equates to a 29 per cent decrease.
The news comes after the firm, which reports on a calendar year basis, paid out distributions of $15m for the first quarter and $20m for the second.
In an email sent to the firm’s partnership last week chairman Hugh Verrier said: “The amount of this distribution was based on: our financial results for the first eight months, our continued view that we should not allow the level of the firm’s debt to increase beyond the level at the same time last year.”
The firm held a full partner meeting this week to discuss financial management and answer any questions partners had about the drop in distributions.
A White & Case spokesman said: “We’ve communicated clearly to our partners our financial projections for the year. Our expectation is that the percentage decline in our total distributions for 2009 compared to 2008 will be modest and will be in line with the performance of our peer firms. Our quarterly distributions are just one of many components that comprise the aggregate annual amount to our partners.”
White & Case has made a number of job cuts across its global network in the last year.
The firm has also seen a number of defections in recent months. In August The Lawyer reported on Ashurst hiring White & Case restructuring partner Dan Hamilton (10 August 2009).
Partners Andrew Croxford, Andrew Caunt and Tim Jeveons joined Greenberg Traurig Maher (17 August 2009).