Layoffs

Nationwide Layoff Watch: I’m Shipping Up To Boston

foley hoag logo.jpgFirst, some good news for Boston based attorneys. Ropes & Gray has joined the growing list of firms not freezing associate salaries. The firm sent out a whole memo about it and everything:

We are pleased to announce that base compensation for partnership-track associates in 2009 will reflect normal seniority increases as follows

But while things look wicked awesome at Ropes, other Beantown firms are feeling the economic pinch. We received word today that Foley & Hoag laid off 32 people. We understand that the breakdown was 17 associates and 15 staff.

The firm confirmed the news in an email that was sent to ATL as well as all of the firm’s associates:

These current economic conditions have led to over-capacity among our lawyers and staff. After considering all our options, the Firm reluctantly concluded that it needed to reduce its headcount in lawyers and staff by approximately 6%. We have contacted this morning individually all the lawyers and staff who are being asked to leave the firm.

After the jump, tipsters weigh in and we post the full Foley statement.


According to the firm, attorneys and staff were informed this morning. But some tipsters noted that staffers were informed a little differently than associates:

The associates were called into a conference room while the staff were given the tap on the shoulder.

But, in their statement Foley did say nice things about all of their departed employees. Read the full statement below and see if you agree with one tipster who opines:

The memo seemed pretty mean, didn’t it? “We’re making a profit but want to throw everyone out in the snow just in case?”

FOLEY HOAG — STATEMENT — REDUCTION IN FORCE

As many of you know, this has been a difficult day at the Firm.

Going into 2009, we have reviewed our operations against current and anticipated market conditions. While the Firm had a strong 2008 financially following a successful 2007, we are working to implement prudent measures to ensure the continued strength of the Firm as it navigates through a severe global economic downturn in 2009.

These current economic conditions have led to over-capacity among our lawyers and staff. After considering all our options, the Firm reluctantly concluded that it needed to reduce its headcount in lawyers and staff by approximately 6%. We have contacted this morning individually all the lawyers and staff who are being asked to leave the firm. Those affected by this decision are all high quality professionals who have made valuable contributions to the Firm. We intend to work with these individuals to help them find new employment. They will each receive access to outplacement services and other benefits and a severance package. While a layoff is a difficult step to take, we believe it is an essential step to ensure the Firm’s ability to continue to deliver efficient and high quality service to its clients in the face of challenging economic times. We have no additional plans for any further reductions in headcount.

Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of law firm layoffs

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