McDermott logo.JPGI hope you weren’t planning on a “snow day,” because it is still raining law men.

McDermott Will & Emery just announced that they have laid off 60 associates and 89 staffers. A firm-wide memo just went out to MWE employees:

Our Firm performed well in 2008 and remains strong as we move into 2009. However, we are not immune to the continued deterioration in market conditions. The business of our clients has slowed and this has affected our own levels of activity, particularly in the transactional area. In response, the Firm is implementing today a reduction in force of 60 attorneys and 89 staff personnel. This decision was tremendously difficult given the high caliber of our people and the many strong, collegial relationships that exist within the Firm.

The open communication from McDermott is appreciated. In December, we reported that the firm laid off around 20 people on the down low.

Our tipsters report that some first years were caught in this latest force reduction.

We’ve already reported that McDermott has instituted a salary freeze (slurpee). The firm indicated that it would reconsidere the salary decision in March. I’ll open the line at 12-to-1 against March bringing better salary news.

Read the full firm memo (and see a screenshot) after the jump. If you just got laid off from McDermott, but are up to date on your taxes, you might consider sending your resume to Obama. I hear that he has some openings.


MCDERMOTT WILL & EMERY — MEMORANDUM — LAYOFFS

Our Firm performed well in 2008 and remains strong as we move into 2009. However, we are not immune to the continued deterioration in market conditions. The business of our clients has slowed and this has affected our own levels of activity, particularly in the transactional area. In response, the Firm is implementing today a reduction in force of 60 attorneys and 89 staff personnel. This decision was tremendously difficult given the high caliber of our people and the many strong, collegial relationships that exist within the Firm.

The attorneys and staff affected are meeting with their managers starting today. We are providing comprehensive severance benefits, career counseling services and a fund to assist staff who may face economic hardship after leaving the Firm. The Firm has taken additional steps to respond to the market downturn affecting our clients, ranging from firm-wide expense reductions to the expansion of our client service initiatives.

Beginning next week and continuing into March, I will be meeting with attorneys and staff in each office to discuss the Firm’s 2008 results and our plans for 2009. I will address your questions regarding this reduction as well as other topics of interest. In the meantime, be assured that we remain a very strong Firm with a deep talent pool, an impressive and diverse base of clients and practices, an international platform and a healthy balance sheet

For immediate questions or concerns, I invite you to seek out your Office Head, your Department or Practice Group Head, any member of the Management Committee including myself, your Office Manager or the administrative leader of your department.

McDermott layoff memo.JPG

Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of law firm layoffs

Stealth Layoffs at McDermott Will & Emery?

The Next Wave of Cost Cutting: The Pay Freeze


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