Layoffs, Staff Layoffs

Nationwide Layoff Watch: Seyfarth Shaw Cuts 40 People

Seyfarth Shaw logo.jpgApparently, cutting salaries, changing its compensation structure, and canceling its summer program just isn’t getting Seyfarth Shaw the kinds of cost savings it needs.

So the firm has returned to the old fail-safe option: layoffs. Am Law Daily reports that the firm laid off approximately 20 attorneys and 20 staffers.

The firm-wide email from Seyfarth Shaw describes the layoffs as needed to better position the firm to take advantage of “opportunities” in the market:

We see opportunities for creating or strengthening client relationships in all of our departments; however, we also know that we must approach these opportunities with the most effective use of our people and their skills.

As a result, we implemented today a separation of approximately 20 attorneys and approximately 20 staff members from a total of about 1,500 people nationwide. In some cases, these decisions were made to better match current or anticipated workloads; others were made as a result of our annual performance management process for attorneys. The separations were spread across multiple offices and practice groups. We have talked to each person affected prior to the distribution of this e-mail.

One Seyfarth Shaw tipster who still has a job told us that they preferred layoffs of some people over additional salary cuts for everybody.

Clearly, we’ve moved well beyond the “survivor’s guilt” stage of Biglaw layoffs. At this point, people are just trying to hang on.

Read the full Seyfarth layoff memo, after the jump.

SEYFARTH SHAW — MEMORANDUM — LAYOFFS

By all accounts, 2009 was one of the most challenging years in generations for our clients, our peers in the legal profession and for our firm. Our overall performance in 2009 exceeded our forecasts and was strong in comparison to many other firms. We thank our Firm members for their efforts and contributions.

Nevertheless, while we all hope that 2010 will be a year of economic recovery, we must be poised to be even more efficient and competitive in how we deliver the level of counsel and service that our clients expect. We see opportunities for creating or strengthening client relationships in all of our departments; however, we also know that we must approach these opportunities with the most effective use of our people and their skills.

As a result, we implemented today a separation of approximately 20 attorneys and approximately 20 staff members from a total of about 1,500 people nationwide. In some cases, these decisions were made to better match current or anticipated workloads; others were made as a result of our annual performance management process for attorneys. The separations were spread across multiple offices and practice groups. We have talked to each person affected prior to the distribution of this e-mail.

We believe that these decisions are an appropriate adjustment to meet the challenges of the year ahead with confidence and momentum. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your OMP, Department Chair, Office Administrator or manager.

We appreciate your understanding and continued support.

Seyfarth Cuts 20 Lawyers, 20 Staff Members Nationwide [Am Law Daily]

Earlier: Seyfarth Shaw Mystery Meeting Follow Up: Another Firm Moves to Kill Lockstep
Seyfarth Shaw: Salary Cuts and Deferral Extensions, Oh My
Seyfarth Shaw Cancels 2010 Summer Program
Nationwide Layoff Watch: Seyfarth Shaw Cuts 50, Cuts Salaries, Cuts Back on Summer Program

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