Philadelphia, Pittsburgh Firms Dominate PPP Loans In Pa.

By Jeff Montgomery
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Law360 (July 8, 2020, 10:00 PM EDT) -- The top 73 Pennsylvania law firms named as receiving aid through the federal Paycheck Protection Program collected at least $117 million, according to newly released Small Business Administration data, with at least $316 million in all going to state companies in the industry.

Six large firms reported awards in the $5 million to $10 million range, with most of the assistance overall gravitating to the Keystone state's two major urban areas, centered on Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

Only one Philadelphia-based regional firm, White and Williams LLP, was reported as receiving a $5 million to $10 million award. That aid was tied to retention of 404 jobs, the second largest number of any law firm that provided an estimate. At least another $78.4 million went to firms that received at least $150,000.

Under the federal program, loans can be forgiven if at least 60 percent of the award goes toward payroll. Interest otherwise is pegged at 1 percent

In all, some 597 Pennsylvania businesses coded as operating under law office or attorney practices borrowed $150,000 or more under the program, with at least $117 million in the larger category.

Among those at the very top, in the $5 million to $10 million range, was McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC, a multi-state law office based in the capital city of Harrisburg that did not list a job retention goal in connection with the loan.

Stevens & Lee PC's offices in Reading, about 60 miles east of Harrisburg, was also in the top tier, with the SBA's data saying that the firm linked at least a portion of the money to retention of 270 jobs.

Pittsburgh law firms accounted for the remaining three in the $5 million to $10 million range: Cipriani & Werner PC, reporting that it aimed to retain 315 jobs; Babst Calland Clements & Zomnir PC, with 223 jobs involved; and Dickie McCamey & Chilcote PC, reporting that that money was tied to retention of 431 jobs, the largest number of any law firm statewide.

None of those in the top tier immediately responded to requests for comment about the program.

In all, 206 of the firms reporting $150,000 or higher loans listed Philadelphia addresses, with another 81 in Pittsburgh, with the two cities accounting for about 48 percent of the law firm loans.

Another 2,960 firms, smaller and far more widely scattered across the Commonwealth, received aid below $150,000, from New Hope and Old Forge to Hershey and Mars, according to the SBA.

The agency specified the loan totals for the unspecified recipients, with the total coming in at $121 million. None of those recipients, who were not named by the agency, linked the assistance to retention of more than 70 jobs.

--Editing by Michael Watanabe.

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