It looks like layoffs are making a comeback of sorts. If you are working as legal support staff in a Biglaw firm, you need to keep your head on a swivel.

Last week, we reported on cuts for staff (in terms of bonuses) at Jones Day. Today Above the Law can report on cuts of staff, at Howrey.

Multiple tipsters report that Howrey laid off 35 support staffers over the course of last week. What should be particularly disturbing to attorneys is that Howrey previously conducted staff layoffs in advance of significant attorney cuts

Here’s the statement from Howrey, via a firm spokesperson:

Howrey has implemented a limited workforce reduction to adjust support staff levels to match our current and anticipated needs.

Those affected are being offered a comprehensive severance package and full COBRA payments through February 28, 2011.

This right-sizing of the firm will allow Howrey to concentrate its resources on its three principal practice groups – antitrust, intellectual property and complex business litigation and to maintain our strong competitive position.

We regret that this decision was necessary and will provide resources to help those impacted to transition to new employment. This action, while difficult, is necessary to better meet the needs of our clients and the demands of the marketplace.

Well, the best spin on this for Howrey attorneys would be to hope that Howrey is positioning itself for bonus season. But for staff, only the survivors have any reason for relief.

For staff around Biglaw, it’s got to be a stressful time. The legal market seems to be in the midst of a slow recovery, but clearly workforce reductions are still on the table.

Earlier: Jones Day Prepares for Bonus Season By Telling Staff They’ll Get Nothing
Nationwide Layoff Watch: Howrey Can’t Utilize Everybody


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