Robert Ruyak was in the holiday spirit yesterday morning.
According to a source familiar with Howrey, the managing partner announced that all non-lawyer staff firmwide would be receiving a $1,000 bonus this year.
Ruyak made the announcement at a holiday breakfast meeting in the firm’s main conference room. The source says when the meeting began, the staff was under the impression that it was supposed to be an ordinary quarterly staff meeting. Ruyak, however, did not read any reports and instead made his welcomed announcement.
Ruyak said the bonuses were given partly because the firm had done well financially in 2008, but also because of his appreciation for the work of the staffers during tough economic times and the firm's own personal losses this year, according to the source. In June, Howrey’s vice chairman, Mark Wegener died and in November, one of the firm’s co-founders, Harold "Hal" Baker, passed away.
Upon hearing the news, staffers were “gasping” and “in tears” by Ruyak’s “incredible act of kindness,” according to the source. Associate bonuses, which have not been announced yet, will not be affected by these staff bonuses.