Two quick items about Clifford Chance, concerning two favorite topics here at ATL: layoff rumors and bonuses. A tipster at the firm told us:
CC/NY has laid off more structured finance associates in the wake of the six associates laid off last October. At least two more structured finance associates have been laid off in February — one straight layoff and one “pushed out,” i.e., strong-armed to leave — and there are rumors of more to come in other areas as well (such as M&A)….
The morale is low and associates [fear] that the CC/NY of the 2002 Memo vintage has come back. How can a firm which pretends to be one of the New York elite firms resort to layoffs as soon as market has slowed down? This is fantasy.
We contacted the firm, and spoke on the phone with a spokesperson:
“There have not been any layoffs since the six associates affected last October, not in structured finance nor any other practice. There aren’t any plans [for layoffs] in any practice area.”
“I’m not saying that we don’t continually monitor our business and work allocation. But we haven’t had layoffs in terms in terms of people being asked to leave for economic reasons. The layoffs in October were in direct response to market conditions in a very specialized product area, rather than a trend.”
We’re inclined to credit the firm on this. A firm that openly acknowledges layoffs, as Clifford Chance did, has more credibility when it denies layoffs than a firm that sheds a suspiciously high number of lawyers, but claims that everything is “business as usual.”
But we do have a correction to our prior report that Clifford Chance paid market bonuses, on an across-the-board / lockstep basis. Read more, after the jump.