More bad news today, this time from Squire Sanders.
Multiple sources reported massive layoffs at Squire Sanders yesterday. The firm has confirmed that 30 associates and paralegals were let go:
We have completed annual reviews of all of our associates and, as a result of that process and with regret have advised some of our associates that they should explore career opportunities elsewhere and we are giving them time to do so. About 30 associates and paralegals will be affected firmwide,including three associates in Phoenix. This is a higher number than usual leaving following performance reviews. Admittedly, current and projected business conditions influenced the timing of these decisions. Like all firms, we are forced to align our resource capabilities with project client service levels and make some hard personnel decisions. That may sound harsh to some and sound like a ‘lay off’ to others but we are working closely with all professionals affected and providing support and assistance.
The Phoenix news is significant. Markets like Phoenix (and Tampa, another Squire branch location) are hurting (because of the housing market) but have not yet felt the brunt of Biglaw layoffs.
We understand that the targets of the cuts were more expensive senior associates. We don’t have any word on what severance package Squire Sanders is offering.
From the firm’s statement, it looks like another case of “forced attrition.”
After the jump, we look into the recent past of Squire Sanders.
Most firms are laying people off because of the market collapse. But Squire Sanders is laying people off despite the economic crisis. Earlier this month, we mentioned that Squire was getting much Federal Bailout love:
Well, Reuters reports that Hughes Hubbard and Squire Sanders are going to get mad bailout love, in the form of $11 million:
“Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP and Squire Sanders & Dempsey LLP have each been awarded a contract for roughly $5.5 million to help shepherd about 2,000 financial firms through the program that would see the government buy company shares, the Treasury Department said on Monday.”
If a $5.5 million contract can’t save anybody’s job, things must be getting pretty bad out there.
The scuttlebutt is that the firm is in “serious” merger talks with another firm of roughly equal size. Upon information and belief, that firm is Squire Sanders.
Both firms hover around the 800-attorney mark. The product of their merger — nicknamed “S4″ by one tipster, standing for either “Seyfarth Shaw Squire Sanders” or “Squire Sanders Seyfarth Shaw” — would be a 1600-lawyer behemoth. The combination would give Seyfarth a coveted foothold in Bratislava.
Next on ATL, the unedited version of Apocalypse Now.