Biglaw, Layoffs

Breaking: Cadwalader Announces Layoffs of 35 Lawyers!

animated siren gif animated siren gif animated siren gif drudge report.GIFJust half an hour ago, based on information we gleaned from various sources, we asked: “Is today Layoff Day at Cadwalader?” The answer would appear to be: YES.
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft has confirmed to us that it will be laying off 35 attorneys. Please see the statement below, which we just received from Hill & Knowlton, the powerhouse public relations firm. When a law firm hires an outside PR / crisis management shop, you know they have something big on their hands (e.g., Sullivan & Cromwell during the Aaron Charney case, when it hired Sard Verbinnen).
Update: We commend Cadwalader for its candor about these associate layoffs. They’re being open about these dismissals as being economic in nature; they don’t try to claim they are “performance based.” To the contrary, the firm praises the affected lawyers for their contributions.
Also, note that CWT is trying to get in front of the bad news and manage it, instead of letting it come out in dribs and drabs, Chinese water torture style. As noted, they’ve hired an outside PR firm. At the same time that they emailed the statement to us, they appear to have reached out to mainstream media sources as well (e.g., the WSJ Law Blog, which posted the statement two minutes before we did).
Unexpected and persistent volatility continues to disrupt sectors of the financial markets; and is affecting the capital markets, many of our clients, and certain practices within our firm.
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft is responding to these market developments with a number of initiatives: Targeted personnel reductions will affect 35 lawyers in our US offices. Other strategies involve continued practice diversification, practice enhancements, and strategic redeployment of certain persons.
These actions affect some talented lawyers who have made significant contributions to the firm. The firm’s partners and Management Committee have put a great deal of effort into mitigating the impact of the business environment on the firm, making today’s announcement even more difficult.
Our objective is as it always has been: to provide superlative client service, and astute legal counsel. We remain committed to those goals and the long-term strength and success of our firm.
Earlier: Nationwide Layoff Watch: Is Today ‘Layoff Day’ at Cadwalader?

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