Layoffs

Nationwide Layoff Watch: K&L Gates Reduces by 36 Associates

KL Gates logo.JPGThe week is off to an ugly start in law firm layoff land. K&L Gates sent the following memo out this morning announcing a “workforce reduction” of 36 associates and 79 staff:

To: All K&L Gates Personnel

From: P.J. Kalis on Behalf of the Management Committee

As with other enterprises adjusting to the global economic downturn, including dozens of major law firms, we have had to adopt measures to strike a balance between the size of our workforce and the demand for certain of our services.

Today, with regret, we announce a reduction in workforce involving 36 associates and 79 staff in the United States. In addition, six lawyer posts are being considered for redundancy in the London office. These reductions (including the possible reductions in London) represent 4.9% of our associate lawyers and 4.3% of our staff. Each of the affected individuals will be personally notified today and informed of transitional arrangements.

For the affected individuals, there is little that can be said here that will not ring hollow. Although impersonal economic forces are sometimes difficult to understand, their highly personal effects are all too easily understood. Good people will be searching for jobs.

We hate to say it, but laying off just 4.9 percent of associates is almost something to brag about these days, with firms like Latham cutting as high as 10 percent in one fell swoop. Full memo, after the jump.


The announcement ends weeks of speculation as to expected layoffs at the firm. No word as to class levels, offices, or nature of the severance packages.

Here is the full memo from Peter Kalis, chairman and global managing partner at K&L Gates:

To: All K&L Gates Personnel

From: P.J. Kalis on Behalf of the Management Committee

As with other enterprises adjusting to the global economic downturn, including dozens of major law firms, we have had to adopt measures to strike a balance between the size of our workforce and the demand for certain of our services.

Today, with regret, we announce a reduction in workforce involving 36 associates and 79 staff in the United States. In addition, six lawyer posts are being considered for redundancy in the London office. These reductions (including the possible reductions in London) represent 4.9% of our associate lawyers and 4.3% of our staff. Each of the affected individuals will be personally notified today and informed of transitional arrangements.

For the affected individuals, there is little that can be said here that will not ring hollow. Although impersonal economic forces are sometimes difficult to understand, their highly personal effects are all too easily understood. Good people will be searching for jobs.

We thank all of the affected individuals for their service to the firm and its clients, and we wish them the best in every future endeavor.

As for the firm at large, our conservative management, global positioning, and diversification across clients, industries and practices endow the firm with a resilience that serves us well in these challenging times.

We intend to remain an industry leader in 2009 and beyond, and the decisions announced today should be seen in that light.

Thank you.

Earlier: Nationwide (Impending) Layoff Watch: K&L Gates Could Make Cuts on Friday

More Groundwork From K&L Gates

The Curious Case of K&L Gates

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