Not many people outside of Texas have heard of Gardere Wynne Sewell. It’s a mid-sized firm with about 300 attorneys based in Dallas.
And, it is undergoing a round of layoffs. It’s a bad day to work in Texas.
Just how many layoffs is a little bit unclear. Our sources tell us that 60 people have been let go from the firm: 20 attorneys and 40 staff. We’ve received these numbers from multiple independent sources.
But the firm is denying the numbers. In a statement obtained by Above the Law, a firm spokesperson says:
To protect the privacy of the people impacted, we do not plan to release any details regarding the practice areas or number of people involved; however, we are aware that there are reports that the number of people affected were 20 attorneys and 40 staff. Those numbers are incorrect, and the number of people involved in both categories was substantially less. We regret the loss of these talented people who have made valuable contributions to our firm.
I’m not entirely sure how reporting the actual number of cuts impacts the privacy of those who have been fired. It’s not like we asked the firm to list the names, addresses, and DNA profiles of those who have been laid off.
But what do I know, I’m not from Texas. For me, privacy is achieved when I can turn up the television loud enough to obscure the sounds of love making emanating from my neighbor’s apartment.
Even so, some tipsters strenuously disagree that the number of Gardere Wynne layoffs is anything other than what we are reporting. A tipster emerged after Gardere Wynne issued the above statement, specifically to point out:
It is an absolute lie…. the firm laid off approximately 20 lawyers, many at the partnership level. The layoffs began on Monday March 2, 2009…. They shouldn’t be allowed to fire people and then pretend that all is well at their firm.
Whether or not we are talking about 60 people or “substantially less,” I think it’s safe to say that Texas is no longer immune from the global economic meltdown.
Read the full Gardere Wynne statement after the jump.
GARDERE WYNNE — STATEMENT — LAYOFFS
Given the current downturn in economic conditions and the unprecedented levels of economic
uncertainty, Gardere is taking steps to adjust its legal and non-legal staffing levels to reflect our
clients’ expected business needs. Like many other law firms and businesses, we are not
immune from the impact of this downturn. While our current economic performance is
healthy. we felt that it was necessary to take these steps to make sure that our resources are
properly aligned with the demand for our services going forward.
This decision is a very difficult one – we know that these decisions affect people’s lives;
unfortunately, after having reviewed all other available options, including significant cost
reductions, we felt that there was no other choice if we are to continue to provide our
attorneys with an opportunity to grow and succeed professionally. While the firm is sound
financially and is well-positioned in a number of counter-cyclical practice areas, such as
bankruptcy, litigation, and labor and employment, among others, and has a strong client base,
these changes will help ensure the firm’s continued success in these uncertain times.
To protect the privacy of the people impacted, we do not plan to release any details regarding
the practice areas or number of people involved; however, we are aware that there are reports
that the number of people affected were 20 attorneys and 40 staff. Those numbers are
incorrect, and the number of people involved in both categories was substantially less. We
regret the loss of these talented people who have made valuable contributions to our firm.