Chicago’s Much Shelist Denenberg Ament & Rubenstein, a business-law firm with about 80 attorneys, will impose a 10% pay cut for partners and associates until May 31, the end of the firm’s fiscal year.
“We always believe in taking care of our people,” Chairman David Brown said. “Besides, all of these attorneys have important relationships with our clients. To have a disruption with attorneys is not fair to clients.”
Brown said the firm let go one associate but it was not for economic reasons. Four staff members were laid off to help reduce expenses, he said.
Lawyers who are not as busy are being encouraged to meet with clients for a few hours a week without charging them. Brown describes the free service in military terms, saying “we are embedding ourselves at various clients.”
Brown estimates that up to 40% of the firm’s business has slowed down. The firm’s leadership decided to move quickly to balance expenses against lower revenue projections.
Founded in 1970, Much Shelist is a full-service, Chicago-based business law firm focused on the middle market.