DLA Piper is set to announce associate and staff layoffs across its U.S. offices later today.
Ann Ford, a member of the firm’s executive committee, tells Legal Times that 80 associates and 100 staff members will be laid off by the end of the day. Ford says this is the first time the firm has had a nationwide reduction in force.
“It was a very difficult and sad decision for the firm because these people are an important part of the firm,” she says.
While Ford says the layoffs will not focus on any one practice area, she says the firm’s transactional work has taken a downturn in recent months. “We could be overstaffed on the transactional side,” she says.
Ford says the layoffs will be spread among the firm’s U.S. offices, but she did not say how many associates and staff members will be affected in Washington.
Ford says those who are laid off will receive severance packages and placement counseling.
Despite Ford’s saying that the firm reported an increase to its revenue and net income in 2008, the firm has implemented several approaches in recent months to reduce the impact of the financial downturn on its bottom line.
In November, DLA Piper asked non-equity partners to kick in some capital in exchange for a limited stake in firm profits and losses as a way to reduce the firm’s credit exposure.
Earlier this week, The Lawyer reported that 30 lawyers and 110 staff members would be laid off in DLA's United Kingdom operation.