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WHAT WE’RE WATCHING

CAN THE PEP TALK - Large law firms made a lot of money (and got to keep more of it than ever) last year—and with good reason. They guided their clients through an unfathomable crisis while also figuring out on the fly how to do business in a very different way than they’d grown accustomed to. But, as Law.com’s Ben Seal reports, the U.S. death toll from the pandemic is continuing to steamroll toward 600,000, tens of millions of jobs have been lost and many clients are still facing financial hardships, all of which is making firms unusually reluctant to tout their great 2020 successes. “Several corporate clients have called and complained about law firms doling out large COVID ­bonuses at the same time their GCs are being asked to cut the compensation of their internal legal staff or, even worse, to furlough employees. I certainly ­appreciate the dissonance. Elite law firms had record-breaking years, while large swaths of corporate America continue to be in extremis,” said Paul Weiss chair Brad Karp, whose firm landed on this year’s ranking of the Super Rich, The American Lawyer’s annual list of Am Law 100 firms that excel on a per-lawyer basis. “Now is not the time to tout one’s PEP.”