Is there a pattern developing in Pittsburgh? A few weeks ago we reported that K&L Gates laid off a number of staff. Today, Gina Passarella of the Legal Intelligencer reports that another Pittsburgh powerhouse, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, laid off between 15 and 25 support staffers.
Buchanan Ingersoll CEO Thomas L. VanKirk confirmed the cuts. But in a move that makes a mockery of the English language, VanKirk refused to call the layoffs, “layoffs.” Instead:
VanKirk said that the cuts were not layoffs, but that the positions were being eliminated in order for the firm to get more in line with its goal of a 3-1 lawyer-to-secretary ratio.
Here are some links for Mr. VanKirk, provided free of charge:
And of course: Layoff
Did your employees want to continue working at your firm? Are they currently allowed to do so? Do you have the slightest idea of what a moral and ethical principle is? Do you?
Having destroyed his own credibility, let’s see what else Mr. VanKirk has to say — after the jump.
Just to be sure that we are all on the same page, even VanKirk admits that the — negative workforce outcomes — had nothing to do with the actual performance of his former employees:
VanKirk emphasized that the cuts had nothing to do with performance issues. “There will be people … who will be eliminated who are very, very good employees and valuable contributors,” he said.
Okay. So they are cutting staff. And those employees did nothing wrong. But don’t you think for a second that this had anything to do with the “economy.”
Buchanan Ingersoll hasn’t been as negatively affected by the downturn in the economy, he said, as firms with a heavy focus on derivatives or collateralized debt obligations, for example.
But VanKirk said the firm plans to use the economic downturn as a way to not carry extra employees. In a strong economy, having extra staff is a luxury, he said, but firms need to take a harder look during down cycles.
So are we supposed to believe that Buchanan Ingersoll was “carrying extra employees” during the good times just for fun? It took a global financial crisis for the firm to say “Ummm, who are these people? Do we pay them? Why?”
There’s good management, there’s bad management, and then there’s “The Bobs.”
There is a good chance that Thomas
Lumberg VanKirk doesn’t know the difference.
Earlier: Staff Layoffs at K&L Gates