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Which Law Firms Top the Layoff List?
Corrections: An earlier version of this story referred to
associate layoffs when in fact some firms' statistics
included other non-partner layoffs, such as of counsel cuts.
Holland & Knight, number 2 in an earlier version of this
ost, informs us that its 70-lawyer layoff included partners
and contract attorneys as well as associates -- although
the firm declined to provide a further breakdown of the
lawyers it cut. White & Case joins the list at number 10.
This is the Top 10 list law firms don't want to make: The
Am Law 100
firms that have laid off the highest
percentage of their non-partner (as counted from Sept. 30,
2008 to Wednesday). The dubious top prize goes to Orrick,
Herrington & Sutcliffe
, which eliminated almost 20 percent
of lawyers in its associate and counsel ranks. In terms of
absolute numbers, the winner -- if that's the term -- is
Latham & Watkins
, which recently sheared 190 lawyers
from its associate ranks. Sadly, that kind of big layoff
number is beginning to lose its shock value as more and
more firms jump on the layoff bandwagon
in this economic
But what's surprising about the data is that New York firms
barely made the Top 10 layoff list. (Only Proskauer Rose
with 35 associate layoffs, was number 9; giant White &
, with 70 cuts, squeezed into 10th place.) That's
especially striking when you consider that New York sits at
the epicenter of the financial meltdown, and New York
firms are reputed to be tough and mean.
Why California and Midwest firms should dominate this list is anyone's guess. Could they be more business-minded --
perhaps more ruthless -- than Wall Street firms? "[New York firms] have a different culture and management style,"
says consultant Peter Zeughauser. "Layoffs are not in their DNA."
But he adds ominously: "The big boys haven't weighed in yet. Ultimately, you will see layoffs."
See if your law firm is on The Layoff List
This article first appeared on The Am Law Daily
blog on AmericanLawyer.com.
2. Cooley Godward
3. Bryan Cave
4. Latham & Watkins
5. McDermott, Will
6. Wilson Sonsini
7. O'Melveny & Myers
8. Goodwin Procter
9. Proskauer Rose
10. White & Case