9 of the largest law firms in the industry secured $ 10 million PPP loans
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Law360 (December 2, 2020, 5:01 p.m. EST) – Some big names at BigLaw have secured $ 10 million in forgivable loans from the federal government under the Paycheck Protection Program, according to new data released by the Small Business Administration , including Boies Schiller & Flexner and Thompson & Knight.
After posting less details information on PPP loan recipients in July, the SBA provided specific data on how the loans were distributed on Tuesday evening. Of the 11 law firms that the administration said received the statutory maximum of $ 10 million, nine are among the top 200 law firms in the United States in terms of staff, according to Law360,400. .
These nine law firms are Maynard Cooper & Gale PC, Day Pitney LLP, Cole Scott & Kissane PA, Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, GrayRobinson, Robins Kaplan LLP, Fredrikson & Byron PA, Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP and Thompson & Knight LLP.
As a key part of the $ 2 trillion COVID-19 pandemic relief bill, the Paycheck Protection Program has provided loans of up to $ 10 million to small businesses, generally defined as businesses with 500 or fewer employees, to help them recover from government-ordered shutdowns. and lost income caused by the coronavirus epidemic.
Loans are repayable as long as they are used primarily to pay employees and for other business operating expenses such as rent and utilities.
In total, more than 14,000 law firms in the United States have received assistance under the program, according to data released Tuesday.
Of the nine major law firms that received $ 10 million in PPP funds, Cole Scott and Fredrikson & Byron declined to comment, and four others did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
Robins Kaplan Chairman Ronald Schutz told Law360 that when COVID-19 hit this spring, law firms were facing “huge economic uncertainties and many still are.”
“PPP loans were designed to help employers keep their employees on the payroll and that’s exactly what we did with the funds. We didn’t lay off any employees or reduce their pay,” Schutz said. .
In a statement on Wednesday, Thompson & Knight said it had accessed “appropriate resources” available under the CARES Act to reduce the impact of the pandemic on the business.
A spokesperson for Kasowitz Benson pointed to a statement released by the company in July, saying it still applies today.
“Because the pandemic closed the New York courts and our offices for several months, the PPP funding made available by the federal government met its target, along with substantial savings measures and significantly reduced partner distributions,” allowing us to preserve jobs. of our hundreds of employees on full pay and uninterrupted benefits, ”the statement said.
This spring, a slew of law firms slashed salaries and some even made layoffs in response to financial uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. Beginning in July, many companies began to reverse these pay cuts, and some even provided lawyers with special fall bonuses on top of the regular year-end bonuses.
A report from the Citi Private Bank group of law firms out this week found that while businesses expected customer demand to decline during the pandemic, Q1 2020 revenue growth exceeded that of Q1 2019 and billing increased 7.4% over the period. end of the third quarter of 2020.
The report is based on conversations with law firm executives and firm responses to Citi Private Bank’s 2020 surveys. More than 200 companies based in the United States and the United Kingdom were surveyed, according to the report.
– Additional reporting by Emma Cueto, Xiumei Dong and Sarah Martinson. Editing by Marygrace Murphy.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Robins Kaplan’s chair. The error has been corrected.
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