Biglaw, Layoffs, Secretaries / Administrative Assistants, Staff Layoffs

Nationwide Layoff Watch: Even the Buyouts Are Beautiful at Davis Polk

Would you pack it all in if offered a lot of money?

This isn’t your father’s Davis Polk. The venerable firm, known for uber-white shoes and super-blue-chip clients, is changing.

(Let’s hope the firm maintains its commitment to hotness in hiring. Someone has to care about beauty in Biglaw, right?)

Under managing partner Tom Reid, DPW has become energized, entrepreneurial, and expansionary. Since Reid took the reins two years ago, the firm has pushed into new areas and gone on a lateral partner hiring spree — a sign that DPW is no longer waiting for work to come its way, but seeking out business more actively.

So maybe it shouldn’t be shocking to learn that DPW, given this growing focus on the bottom line, is following the trend of offering buyouts to reduce the ranks of support staff….

Late last week, we heard reports of Davis Polk buyouts in New York. Here’s one:

DPW just offered a huge staff buyout package. Admins and others. Lots of people freaking out about layoffs if the buyout falls short.

We asked for additional details about who received offers and what were the terms. This source responded:

Admins. Copy room staff. Mail room staff.

Not certain of terms. Maybe six months health insurance. Possibly over a year’s pay for long timers.

Up to a year of severance pay? And we thought six months was generous.

(We haven’t seen the exact terms, but we understand a memo is floating around. Feel free to send our way if you have it — especially if you’re taking the buyout. What are they going to do, fire you?)

We reached out to Davis Polk. The firm declined comment — politely, as is the DPW way.

By the standards of Biglaw, people at Davis Polk are pretty happy. The firm took second place in our ranking of summer associate programs and first place in our survey of firm morale.

But it sounds like paradise is getting crowded. What payment would you take to self-deport from the garden of Eden?

Earlier: Nationwide Layoff Watch: Secretarial Separations Softened By Substantial Severance
Nationwide Layoff Watch: Voluntary Separations at Two Major Law Firms

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