Morrison Foerster MoFo Above the Law AboveTheLaw blog.jpgOccasionally we report about firms offering voluntary early retirement / buyout packages to their staff. For the most part, the programs haven’t been popular. It seems like staffers would just as soon take their chances at layoff roulette instead of voluntarily falling on their swords and slinking away into the night.
So a tipster’s report this morning really caught our eye:

50 employees at MOFO (don’t know the offices) just took an early retirement package.

Fifty? That doesn’t sound like an early retirement offer, it sounds like a Great Escape.
And it’s a true story. We have a statement from Morrison & Foerster after the jump.


MoFo was able to get so many people to take early retirement because there was a significant financial incentive for those who took the package. Here’s the Morrison & Foerster statement to Above the Law:

Historically Morrison & Foerster significantly subsidized the premiums for retiree health care. Due to rising health care costs we determined that to be able to continue to offer retiree health care to our employees we needed to eliminate the premium subsidy for future retirees. Because the premium subsidy was of great potential value to our long time employees we offered to honor this subsidy for those who voluntarily chose to retire by January 31, 2010. We provided financial and transition consulting services to our eligible employees to help make informed decisions. Approximately half of the eligible retirees took advantage of the retirement opportunity, more than we anticipated. We are very grateful for their dedicated service to the firm. They are our friends and colleagues and we will miss them very much, but we feel good about their opportunity to preserve the benefit.

I don’t know how much money the premium subsidy was worth, but with fifty people jumping at it, we have to assume it wasn’t chump change.
And MoFo has found a fairly painless way to achieve a fifty-person headcount reduction. Bonus points for thinking outside the box. Let’s hope these are the last MoFo departures for a while.
Earlier: Cost Cutting At Schiff Hardin
Hogan & Hartson Offers Buyout of 250-300 Staff


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