Layoffs, Staff Layoffs

Nationwide Staff Layoff Watch: Wilson Sonsini Makes Cuts

wsgr logo.JPGLast week, Seyfarth Shaw kicked off a round of 2010 layoffs. Today, Wilson Sonsini followed suit.
The firm just announced that it is laying off staff. Here’s an excerpt from the firm-wide memo:

[A]fter a long and thorough analysis, we have concluded that these changes have made it necessary to downsize the ranks of our staff by approximately 20 employees nationwide, primarily in the secretarial area. We emphasize that the downsizing is a regretful but prudent business decision and no reflection on the skills and performance of the employees involved, who already have been informed of the specifics of this decision. The firm will provide separation pay and support services to help them transition.

It looks like another law firm just got a look at its 2009 profit numbers and found them unappealing. But at Wilson, this is the second year in a row that the new year has brought about new layoffs. In January 2009, Wilson Sonsini laid off 113 people (68 staff) because of the economy. At least this round of New Year’s layoffs isn’t as deep.
In September, Wilson froze the salaries of its secretaries, evidently the firm decided it needed to make a stronger move.
Good luck, Wilson Sonsini friends.
Read the full firm memo after the jump.


WILSON SONSINI — MEMORANDUM — LAYOFFS
Every well-run business continually must take a hard look at how it’s managed and search for ways to increase efficiency, effectiveness, and client service. We are fortunate to work with talented, highly motivated individuals who do their very best to increase productivity and organizational effectiveness every day. At the same time, technology has become more advanced and has streamlined the way we all work. While there are many benefits to this, it also presents some challenges to our historic staffing models. Accordingly, after a long and thorough analysis, we have concluded that these changes have made it necessary to downsize the ranks of our staff by approximately 20 employees nationwide, primarily in the secretarial area. We emphasize that the downsizing is a regretful but prudent business decision and no reflection on the skills and performance of the employees involved, who already have been informed of the specifics of this decision. The firm will provide separation pay and support services to help them transition.
Although this was a difficult decision, we would like to assure everyone that the firm continues to be extremely well positioned for growth and future success. We continue to attract new clients and build market share. We will continue to invest in key practice areas and geographies. We recently welcomed a new class of 44 associates, and we will continue to recruit and hire top talent. We have enormous confidence in our client base, the effectiveness of our business model, and the exceptional talent of our attorneys and staff. In addition, we are seeing positive signs from the capital markets and are encouraged that they are recovering from the economic downturn. All of this gives us great optimism about the future and the opportunities that lie ahead, and we thank you for your continuing dedication to the firm.
Earlier: Nationwide Layoff Watch: Seyfarth Shaw Cuts 40 People
Staff Salary Freeze From Wilson Sonsini
Nationwide Layoff Watch: Major Downsizing at Wilson Sonsini (45 Lawyers, 68 Staffers)

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