Thomson Reuters hosted the 12th annual Law Firm COO and CFO Forum in New York on Oct. 24-25. The conference is designed to give law firm COOs and CFOs a platform to convene and discuss economic and professional headwinds affecting the business of law.

In advance of the conference, attendees had the opportunity to participate in a simple survey that would provide a general overview of their positions, duties and compensation within their firms.

With nearly 40 participants responding, 70 percent of attendees worked at firms with 499 lawyers or less and 56 percent of their firms generated revenue over $100 million.

COO CFO graph

Click to enlarge and see the survey results

Most COOs or CFOs in the survey (61 percent) were appointed to their position by the firm’s managing partner or chair, while 53 percent report directly to the managing partner or chair. The additional participants report to an executive director or a committee for the firm. The COOs and CFOs are principally responsible for financial reporting, but many are also involved in the firm’s real estate, due diligence around mergers, and IT systems oversight.

Regarding pay, the vast majority – 86 percent – feel fairly compensated. Nearly 20 percent earn more than $1 million, and the majority earn  compensation ranging from $100,000 – $499,000.