Law firm layoffs might be down, but they’re not out. Today we bring news of staff layoffs in the Los Angeles office of Hughes Hubbard & Reed.

We heard reports that approximately 12 out of 18 support staff members have been or will be laid off. According to these reports, eleven were laid off earlier this month, and one will be leaving in a few weeks.

In response to an inquiry from Above the Law, a spokesperson for the firm confirmed the essential accuracy of these reports. No associates were affected by the reduction, she noted.

“This was a difficult move; we had to let go of some very good people,” said Gerard F. Cruse, the firm’s Chief Operating Officer, in a statement issued to ATL. “But, despite the fact we had another record year last year, the recession has impacted our L.A. office and we couldn’t continue to be overstaffed there. We are confident about its future and are planning the L.A. office’s expansion.”

Some additional information, after the jump.

We heard additional reports of some lawyers — partners or counsel, not associates — being eased out of the firm. Hughes Hubbard declined to comment on these reports, noting that the firm “does not ordinarily comment, as a matter of policy, on such inquiries about named individuals.” (We mentioned names in our inquiry.)

As for what motivated the cuts — word on the street was that Old Mother Hubbard lacked work in her cupboard — the Hughes Hubbard spokesperson explained: “Our L.A. office’s real estate practice has felt the impact of the recession, though our core litigation and transactional practices there remain strong.”

Good luck to the support staff affected by these reductions. On the bright side, the economy seems to be picking up; it’s better to be looking for a job now than it was in 2009. And you live in sunny southern California. That has to count for something, right?


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