AmLaw Daily continues to provide firm by firm profit numbers, and attorneys continue to be annoyed with firm rhetoric against the backdrop of actual layoffs.
The latest issue comes from associates formerly with Foley Hoag. Two weeks ago, we reported that Foley Hoag laid off 32 people, 17 associates and 15 staff. Yesterday, AmLaw reported that Foley’s profits per equity partner rose by 5%.
We’ve mentioned before that rising PPP in the face of layoffs and salary freezes is not necessarily a bad thing. If partners aren’t making money, partners will leave. If partners leave, banks start asking questions. If banks don’t receive satisfactory answers, everybody gets fired.
But just because people are capable of understanding the economics of the situation, it doesn’t mean that this is a time for partners to be patting themselves on the back.
The statements that annoyed some Foley people after the jump.
In light of the layoffs, AmLaw reported this statement from Foley’s managing partner Robert Sanoff:
Foley is taking a cautious approach for 2009, bracing itself with belt-tightening measures. The firm pre-paid several months worth of its 2009 office rents. Just last week, it announced layoffs of both lawyers and staff. In cutting 17 associates, Foley trimmed overall headcount by 6 percent; 15 support staff also were let go.
“Although we had a strong 2008 financial performance, we had an overcapacity of associates,” says Sarnoff. “With a big associate class that had arrived October, and reduced attrition rates, we thought it would be prudent to do a head count reduction.”
In response to the statement, one tipster told ATL:
Nomination for asshole managing partner of the week….
Just so we’re clear, I was let go not because the firm is doing bad, but because it’s being cautious but caution didn’t start until after they hired all the first years.
Average profits per equity partner fell 8.2 percent to $1.41 million. Revenue per lawyer also dipped to $860,000 from $880,000 in 2007.
According to firm chair Regina Pisa, practices were at or near last year’s performance levels up until September. “It took a while for the pipeline to draw down, but I would say as soon as capital dried up, all practices were affected one way or another,” Pisa says.
As far as we know, Goodwin has not conducted layoffs on the scale of Foley.
Lay off associates, PPP goes up. Keep associates, PPP goes down. Is that really the world that we are living in?