Katten Chairman Roger Furey was featured in an article in The American Lawyer about Katten's decision to raise the salaries of its business professionals. Katten provided a 2.5 percent salary increase to all business professionals this year, following an annual increase that the firm provided at the end of 2020 that was independent of merit-based compensation. Katten will offer another year-end increase to business professionals in 2021.
Earlier in the year, Katten gave a $250 bonus to business professionals in recognition of their hard work during the COVID-19 pandemic. This change in business professionals' compensation is meant to reflect a greater shift in policy at Katten: thinking of the firm as a whole, rather than as attorneys and "other."
"We have heard back from many of our business professionals that they appreciate being acknowledged. They are grateful to us, but we are also very grateful for them," Roger said. "We are focusing all of our policies on dealing with everyone at the firm."
The decision to provide a 2.5 percent salary increase for business professionals came as Katten considered increasing the salaries of associate attorneys, following in the footsteps of several New York law firms who had done so last month.
"When we started talking about associate salary increases at the leadership level, the conversation quickly evolved into conversations about all of our people. When we were talking about matching the New York firms, we thought that everyone deserves recognition, and there was a quick consensus that we should be doing this for all our employees," Roger explained. Katten's outsourced employees, such as those in facility and library services, will also receive a 2.5 percent increase in salary.