Morgan, Lewis & Bockius announced today that the firm will be laying off 55 lawyers and 161 staff members.
Frances Bravo, director of public and media relations, says that the Philadelphia-based firm will not be breaking down the number of people affected by office, but she says Washington will not go unscathed.
Firm chairman Francis Milone says in a firmwide e-mail that the firm will also be delaying the start date for this year's associate class and will be offering them a "a paid public service opportunity."
"Unfortunately, we have reached the point where we believe that the greatest good for the greatest number of our colleagues will be achieved by eliminating some positions and bringing our overall numbers more in line with the realities of the present economic environment and what we believe will be the expectations of our clients in the future," Milone says in the e-mail. "Therefore, we will be informing today a number of our attorneys and members of our staff throughout the firm that their employment will end."
The memo says Milone will be holding a video conference tomorrow at noon to discuss the cuts. The layoffs were first reported on Above the Law.
The Legal Intelligencer has more here.
Here is the memo from Milone:
In the video presentations that I have made over the last few months to staff and lawyers, I have candidly discussed the topic of possible layoffs of our personnel. I have tried to do so by explaining the many external factors affecting us and law firms generally, including the troubled economy and the changing requirements legitimately being imposed on us by our clients. In each of our video meetings I told you that we had not yet reached the point where we believed that a reduction in force was necessary, and that we were monitoring the situation closely, but that we could not guarantee that layoffs would not be necessary in the future.
Unfortunately, we have reached the point where we believe that the greatest good for the greatest number of our colleagues will be achieved by eliminating some positions and bringing our overall numbers more in line with the realities of the present economic environment and what we believe will be the expectations of our clients in the future. Therefore, we will be informing today a number of our attorneys and members of our staff throughout the firm that their employment will end. We expect to inform those of you who are being affected by this decision as early as possible today, at which time we will also discuss with you certain available
Our decision today will affect 55 lawyers and 161 of our legal and administrative staff across the firm¹s U.S. offices. We will continue to take other steps to manage our expenses, including delaying the starting dates for the new lawyers joining us from law school, to whom we will offer a paid public service opportunity.
I will be making a video presentation to the entire firm tomorrow at Noon (EDT), in which I will explain our decision in more detail. You will receive an e-mail from your local office administrator regarding room locations in your respective offices. I very much regret that you are learning of this decision by e-mail, but we felt that it was important that everyone know of our decision before any individuals were informed of their status. I hope that as many of you as possible will attend the presentation so that we can provide you with more details, and so that we can all then direct our energies to the future and to continuing the success of the firm we have worked so hard together to build.
I regret that some very fine employees are losing their jobs, but I assure you that much thought went into our decision. We remain busy in many significant areas of the firm, and we remain quite confident about the future. But, as I will explain in tomorrow¹s video, we also know that future success will require us to keep our expenses and personnel numbers in line with our clients' expectations.
I am grateful to all of you for your continuing support and excellent work in these difficult times.