Shearman & Sterling declined to comment on the rumors of “performance based” layoffs we reported on, yesterday. However, they did want to comment on our characterization of their faltering corporate practice:
The current environment has presented significant opportunities for Shearman & Sterling across its platform. We have been involved in many of the most complex situations that have arisen in recent months and continue to be active on a large number of those transactions throughout the world, including the sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America, Allianz’s sale of Dresdner to Commerzbank, numerous engagements for financial institutions and hedge funds arising under the Lehman insolvency (including our worldwide representation of Bank of America), and Hypo Real Estate in its German restructuring. We also have seen a substantial increase in the demand for our litigation and international arbitration practices. In response to your comments, activity levels in our Capital Markets practice have indeed slowed somewhat, as they have at all major firms, but other practices, as evidenced above, are very busy. Consistent with our normal practice, we are actively allocating associate staffing to areas of the firm where there is the greatest need.
So, there’s that. We’ll try to keep on top of how Shearman’s performance reviews go as they get started over the next couple of weeks.