The pace of law firm layoffs has been slowing. As noted by Lawshucks in the last installment of This Week in Layoffs, a second consecutive week passed with no reported layoff news. Some firms that have conducted large-scale layoffs — cough cough, Latham — are even hiring again.
At McDermott Will & Emery, however, the situation is quite different. Layoffs continue at MWE, but on the down low.
We’ve been hearing vague rumblings about McDermott layoffs — or performance-based dismissals, from the firm’s point of view — going back to January. More recently, last week and this week, we received more concrete information.
So, what are the details?
According to multiple sources in different McDermott offices, the firm has been quietly conducting layoffs over the past few weeks. They appear to be staggering them by offices to draw less attention and to avoid depressing (already low) morale further.
Affected offices include Chicago, Boston, and Los Angeles. If you know of others, please email us.
We don’t have much in the way of numbers. The Chicago layoffs that took place earlier this month affected approximately 12 to 15 associates; we don’t have hard numbers for other offices. Staff cuts are said to be on the way as well.
It appears that nobody is safe. Partners, including some capital partners (equity partners), have been forced out too. We understand that partners in Los Angeles and Boston, and possibly other offices, have been shown the door in 2010.
Details on severance for laid-off associates have not been confirmed. In past MWE layoffs, three months has been standard.
Firm spokespersons did not respond to multiple requests for comment. If you have additional info, please email us. Thanks.
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of McDermott Will & Emery