Last week, we reported that Latham & Watkins officially raised salaries, all the way back to where they would have been had the firm not frozen salaries in the first place.
Today, we have news that Latham is opening up new offices: one in Houston and one in Beijing.
Ahh, ah, AHHH, ah. Don’t call it a comeback:
Latham continues to rock peers and put suckas in fear, after the jump.
Tipsters report that Latham’s new Houston office will be made up of a hodgepodge of poached partners from other Texas area firms:
Two corporate partners from Akin Gump, four corporate partners from VE, at least one partner from Baker Botts and Andrews Kurth and some associates (more to leave soon). Office space is in the same building as Jones Day Houston (nice building). No official announcement yet from Latham, but I know some of those who have gone over, and they are working already. … Some of the stolen partners have big books of business.
And Latham will be expanding into China despite the softness of the legal market over there. I wonder if any Chinese law graduates will have an opportunity with L&W?
Even though the legal economy looks to be rebounding, there aren’t many firms that are actively expanding in this market. Hmm … hasn’t Latham kind of done this before? A tipster notes:
It’s interesting to me because it seems to parallel the firm’s aggressive and arguably inevitably unsustainable growth in NY that preceded the massive cuts (Latham NY associates estimate that about 40% of associates in that office were laid off in 2009 during the stealth and public rounds). I say inevitably unsustainable because as you’ve probably heard in NY they recruited heavily for and rapidly expanded all the cyclical groups and groups tied to the debt bubble without strenghening the countercyclical groups. … [M]aybe this shows that Latham’s model really is to take large risks knowing that there will need to be big cuts during downturns.
Latham said knock you out?
Is that really the plan here? Aggressive expansion followed by massive layoffs? We know law students have short memories, but are people signing up for Latham right now with the expectation that they’ll be laid off as soon as there is a bump in the road?
Well, it’s their business model, and they can certainly do with it what they please. Let’s just hope that the firm is being upfront with its new hires.
Speaking of new hires, all of our tipsters had a similar question: as long as Latham is hiring, should it give first crack at the new positions to the 190 lawyers (at least) the firm laid off last year? I’m not sure if associates who were laid off from Latham-NY or Latham-LA want to move to Houston — but how many of those people have found other Biglaw employment?
Would former Lathamites go back to Latham? I don’t know, but I bet it would be pretty annoying to get laid off by the same company twice in one career.
Earlier: Latham & Watkins: True-Up Raises Are Official
At Least You Didn’t Go to Law School in China
Nationwide Layoff Watch: Latham Cuts 440 (190 Associates, 250 Staff)