Fish & Richardson is conducting layoffs, another indication that IP work is not a safe haven during the economic storm.
The firm would not respond to our requests for comment, but a firm wide email sent to Fish associates confirmed that 30 support staffers were let go this week:
Today, Fish & Richardson is reducing the size of our staff by notifying 30 support staff that they will no longer be employed by the firm. Affected employees are in eight of our U.S. offices and in several administrative departments.
We thank all of these employees for their service to the firm. We know that this will be a difficult time for them, and we will assist them through this transition with a severance program. Our people are our greatest asset, and so we take these steps only after thoughtful consideration.
The firm wide memo did not mention anything about associate layoffs. That may be because the firm is also conducting stealth layoffs of associates.
More details from tipsters after the jump.
In contrast with the relatively open way that Fish laid off staff, multiple sources have told ATL that Fish & Richardson is also quietly laying off associates. One tipster reports:
Approximately 40 associates were let go last week, across offices. All were told performance related; doesn’t appear true for majority.
Another tipster reports:
The firm is conducting stealth layoffs of about 40 associates by characterizing them as ‘performance-based firings.’ This, despite the fact that some of the let-go lawyers were far exceeding their hours requirement. … As a percentage basis of this small/mid-size firm’s headcount, 40 associates is a sizable proportion.
On one hand, it would be pretty would strange for a firm to internally announce firing 30 staff while going the stealth route with 40 attorneys. On the other hand, “strange” doesn’t even begin to describe what we’ve already seen in 2009.
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Staff Layoffs