Pa. Lawyer Wants Big Law to Share Profits With the Hungry

A Philadelphia area partner of Royer Cooper Cohen Braunfeld and a former managing partner of Am Law 200 has made efforts to redirect some of the law firms’ additional pandemic profits into feeding the hungry.

David Antzis, with Royer Cooper Cohen Braunfeld. Courtesy photo

David Antzis, who stepped sideways to join Royer Cooper in the midst of the pandemic, is a longtime supporter of food banks. “If you can’t eat, there’s not much else you can do,” he said.

Seeing so many big law firms seeing significant profitability gains over the past year despite the pandemic, he saw an opportunity to get others involved. Anzis came from Big Law himself – he previously headed Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, where he spent his career as managing partner until he switched in 2020.

“While sales could have dropped a few percent [at some law firms], The declines in spending far outpaced the lost revenue, and companies far, far better than they had budgeted for, ”said Antzis. However, hunger in the United States has worsened with the pandemic, especially as schools for children who depend on school meals have been closed.

Antzis started with companies he had an established relationship with and got several to mortgage. Five companies, including Royer Cooper, have committed to founding the initiative. The others are Cozen O’Connor, Baker & Hostetler, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, and McCausland Keen + Buckman.

Through this effort called Justice for the Hungry, Cozen O’Connor, Baker & Hostetler, Porter Wright, and Royer Cooper have each pledged $ 100,000, while McCausland Keen, a smaller Philadelphia-based firm, forecast 0.1% of theirs in 2021 Has committed to sales.

Royer Cooper has also implemented a service component, Antzis said, which provides an opportunity for lawyers and employees to volunteer with the Sharing Excess organization, which takes groceries from grocery stores that are unlikely to sell before expiration and delivers them to blackboards. He said the company wanted a way for individuals, especially employees, to contribute to the cause, even if donating large amounts of money is not an option for them.

The founding firms are asking other law firms to send up to $ 100,000 to any organization that provides groceries to unsafe households over the next four years.

Announcing the initiative on Wednesday, Antzis said Justice for the Hungry’s goal was to raise at least $ 1 million. But from his own perspective, he said, “I want to raise millions of dollars.”

To put this in perspective, the Philabundance hunger group, based in Philadelphia, says that $ 1 provides two meals for people in need.

“I would like to turn this into a national campaign, not just a Pennsylvania campaign,” said Antzis. “Last year has been a very good year for companies across the country.”

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