wsgr logo.JPGMajor news coming out of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. The firm just announced that 45 attorneys and 68 staff were laid off:

[I]t is with regret that we announce that the firm will be downsizing our associate, legal support, and administrative ranks, with 45 attorneys and 68 staff directly affected. Members and staff managers will meet with their teams today and tomorrow to inform them of the details of this decision. Please know that the firm is extremely grateful to all of the affected employees for their contributions, and we will work with them and provide resources to ease their transitions.

In light of that news, the salary freeze and bonus news for those who are left doesn’t really sting that much:

[W]e will not be making associate step salary increases this year, but we will be paying out bonuses based on the criteria and structure developed by the Associate Bonus Program Steering Committee and announced last fall (additional details to follow shortly). Legal support and administrative staff will not receive merit bonuses in January, but the firm will be making profit-sharing contributions in the spring to all eligible plan participants equal to 9.5 percent of their eligible compensation, as we have in previous years.

Best of luck to the 113 people suddenly out of work. Keep your heads up.

Check out the full firm statement, after the jump.

WILSON SONSINI GOODRICH & ROSATI — STATEMENT — LAYOFFS

TO: All Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Employees

FROM: John Roos

As you are all aware, the continued economic downturn and weakening of the global capital markets have put enormous pressure on all businesses. The firm’s board of directors and management team have been spending significant time evaluating the situation, analyzing its impact, and developing concrete actions to adapt to the current business climate and prepare for what might lie ahead. Throughout the past year, we have applied cost-cutting measures and taken other steps in an effort to mitigate the effects of the downturn. Unfortunately, as the general economic environment has worsened, it has become clear that prudent management of our business requires that we take further action. Accordingly, it is with regret that we announce that the firm will be downsizing our associate, legal support, and administrative ranks, with 45 attorneys and 68 staff directly affected. Members and staff managers will meet with their teams today and tomorrow to inform them of the details of this decision. Please know that the firm is extremely grateful to all of the affected employees for their contributions, and we will work with them and provide resources to ease their transitions.

Given the prolonged economic uncertainty, we must continue to be extremely diligent in managing our business, while still rewarding strong contributions and performance. As such, we will not be making associate step salary increases this year, but we will be paying out bonuses based on the criteria and structure developed by the Associate Bonus Program Steering Committee and announced last fall (additional details to follow shortly). Legal support and administrative staff will not receive merit bonuses in January, but the firm will be making profit-sharing contributions in the spring to all eligible plan participants equal to 9.5 percent of their eligible compensation, as we have in previous years. In managing the firm for the future, we will continue to balance cost-cutting with prudent spending, and will invest in our core business and pursue strategic practice areas to meet client demand and grow new revenue streams.

We truly believe that we have the best attorneys and staff in the legal profession, and we are taking these actions with the utmost regret and only after a great deal of reflection and deliberation. But we also are resolute in our belief that we have a durable business model and a strong and diverse client base, and that we are taking the necessary steps to weather the current economic downturn and emerge well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead.


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