S.F. Law Firm’s Partners Will Skip Paychecks

Partners at San Francisco’s largest law firm and one of the oldest in California, are skipping their regular monthly paychecks in March as part of a new cost-cutting campaign, partners said Thursday.

Members of Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro said “very significant” capital expenditures, including an over-budget computer system and office expansions into Los Angeles and San Jose, prompted the nearly 170 partners to forgo their checks, they said. Other personnel at the firm are receiving their pay.

Partners said skipping the monthly payout is unusual although not unprecedented at the firm.

In addition, they said, the firm is cutting back on support staff personnel.


According to July-August, 1988, issue of the American Lawyer, a trade journal, the 115-year-old firm had 1987 revenue of $116 million. Although its revenue is traditionally among the highest of any San Francisco firm, partners said high costs have, for years, eroded the profits shared by the partners.