Back in 2011, we wondered if on-shore outsourcing was the Biglaw wave of the future. Given the recent cavalcade of “adjustments,” “reductions,” “reorganizations,” and “eliminations” affecting staff headcount at firms across the country, we think our prediction may be coming to pass.
These days, despite news of record numbers in terms of gross revenue, it seems we can’t even make it through one week without news of layoffs coming from within Biglaw’s hallowed halls. In fact, last week brought even more lamentable news from large law firms (on top of the double-digit IT outsourcing at one top firm).
Which Biglaw firm is pink-slipping employees en masse in favor of outsourcing this time?
Last week, Vedder Price conducted significant layoffs of its non-legal staff. Affected staff came from the Office Services, Duplicating, Food Services, and Reception departments. As seems to be standard in terms of recent reductions in headcount, the cuts numbered in the double digits, with 32 positions expected to be outsourced. (Regarding the outsourcing of Food Services, we’re guessing the firm will use neighborhood caterers going forward. Look at it this way: Your lunch would definitely be cold by the time it arrives from standard outsourcing locales, like Wheeling, West Virginia or Nashville, Tennessee.)
We reached out to the firm for confirmation, and this is what a spokesperson had to say:
Like many professional services firms, we have put the non-legal staff positions referenced across our five offices under the management of a leading global services firm. This action allows us to be more efficient and effective in managing our internal operations, and enables us to better focus on our core competency of providing high-value legal services to our clients. All potentially impacted employees are eligible for retention by the services firm, and we believe many will be retained and continue to serve our firm.
We’re sure those affected by Vedder Price’s outsourcing-based layoffs will take relief in the fact that they’re “eligible” to keep their old jobs and that the firm “believes” they’ll be kept on for employment by this leading global services firm at an undisclosed location. In other news, those impacted by headcount cuts at Vedder Price are “eligible” to win the Mega Millions lottery and “believe” they could win.
In fairness to Vedder, it’s not the only firm that’s trimming staff in order to focus on its “core competency” of providing “high-value services.” We sincerely hope that the powers that be at this outsourcing firm can find it in their hearts to hire the staff members in question, and we wish good luck to those who have been priced out at Vedder if they’re forced to seek new opportunities.
Is your firm conducting layoffs, stealth or otherwise? If you have information to share, about Vedder Price or any other notable law firm, feel free to email us or text us (646-820-8477).