Friday, February 27, 2009

Latham & Watkins lays off 440 | Death of Big Law Firms?

Legal giants slashing and burning

David Lat and Elie Mystal of the legal blog Above the Law report that the worldwide legal firm Latham & Watkins have laid off 440 employees (190 associates, 250 staff). According to Above the Law, Latham & Watkins managing partner Bob Dell announced the layoffs via this company wide E-mail:

From: Robert Dell (SF)
To: #ALL L&W PERSONNEL
Sent: Fri Feb 27 08:00
Subject: Executive Committee Announcement

To: All Personnel

From: The Executive Committee

It is with deep regret that we are announcing and implementing today a layoff of associates, paralegals and staff, which will affect approximately 12% of our associates (190) and 10% of our paralegals and staff (250). Everyone who is directly impacted by this workforce reduction will be notified personally today, and will be offered a comprehensive separation package, including payment of six months salary (up to total severance of $100,000) plus six months of continued medical coverage (through August 31, 2009), as well as other resources to support this transition.

We deeply appreciate the many valuable contributions and committed service of those affected by this decision. We made this painful decision with great reluctance and only after concluding that demand for legal services in this troubled economy will not provide enough work for all of our attorneys. Needless to say, the depth and duration of this recession could not have been anticipated. While our diversified practices and global platform continue to provide us the stability and strength to navigate these unprecedented global economic conditions, our structure was built to serve even greater demand based on the significant and steady growth we experienced before the rapid onset of this global recession. ... click here to read the rest of the article titled "Latham & Watkins lays off 440 | Death of Big Law Firms?"

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