We are now ready to confirm some of the reports flying around the internet about layoffs at Cahill Gordon. We now have multiple tipsters who work at Cahill who can confirm that there were significant layoffs at the firm last Thursday.
Our tipsters don’t know the numbers of cuts — and the firm has rebuffed our repeated requests for comment on the story — but some tipsters report that as many as ten percent of associates were let go.
The timing of last week’s cuts seemed to rankle some of our sources. On Wednesday, Cahill announced Half-Skadden bonuses. But on Thursday associates were called in for their “annual review” and told that they were being let go … and that they would not be receiving the 2008 bonuses the firm announced the day before.
As we understand it, first and second years were spared. But everybody else was fair game.
Working all of 2008 and still not getting a 2008 bonus has to sting. But the firm did give a 3 month severance package.
Still, the firm apparently doesn’t want to talk very much about their decision to fire people without giving them their bonuses. Tipsters weigh in after the jump.
It appears that Cahill did everything it could to keep the information private. A tipster reports:
Well, [associates] were encouraged to use their office, secretary, and the firm’s resources for another three months, while severance is paid out. And most importantly, no one save the partners knows about it and “you don’t have to tell anyone” the associates were told. No firm memo was sent out informing people what had occurred and saying that the people laid off were valuable and that the decisions were hard ones. Perhaps Cahill remembers the infamous layoffs in the 1990s that have continued to haunt them, especially in the eyes of recruiters, and wanted to keep the whole affair speculative and unconfirmed.
It’s unclear why Cahill thought that recently fired employees would keep quiet about the firm, especially when they’re not receiving their 2008 bonus.
Other tipsters feel that Cahill’s response to the layoffs speaks to a larger problem:
Cahill has always strived to play with the Skaddens, the Cravaths, Sullivan & Cromwells, the Clearys of the legal world, in terms of attracting talent and bolstering its reputation. Unfortunately, Cahill does not realize that money (it pays top of the market and has very high PPP) is not everything; being a “classy” and “prestigious” firm also requires acting with integrity and in an aboveboard manner.
If you have other information about the scope of Cahill’s layoffs, please send them to ATL.