White & Case will lay off about 200 associates and 200 staff members, The AmLaw Daily reports. According to a statement from the firm, partners will also be cut.
In addition, the firm will defer the start date for approximately 60 percent of this year’s incoming associate class until 2010. Those associates who have their start dates deferred will receive a stipend to cover bar exam costs.
UPDATE (6:17 p.m.) Those who pursue volunteer and community service work will receive $75,000, and those who do not will receive $45,000.
Here is the firm's statement:
Following a thorough, strategic review of its business, White & Case LLP announced today a number of measures that will allow the Firm to respond to changing demand in the market for legal services.
These actions include an evaluation of its partnership, which will result in a reduction in the number of partners, commensurate with current and anticipated business needs.
The Firm is also implementing a global workforce reduction of about 200 associates and 200 administrative and business support staff. These reductions will vary by region and practice, based upon the needs of the business. In accordance with local labor laws, the Firm will follow a consultative process in some offices. Those affected will be offered a competitive severance package, as well as other support services to assist them through this transition.
In addition, the Firm is deferring the start date of approximately 60% of this year’s incoming associate class in the US until 2010. Incoming associates who are not deferred will join the Firm on November 2, 2009.
The Firm will also continue its focused reduction of operating expenses around the world.
These proposed actions will enable the Firm to better align resources and capabilities to address current and anticipated client demand.
White & Case Chairman Hugh Verrier said: “I greatly regret having to take these actions. The decision was made only after a very careful review of our business. I believe these measures provide the best way forward to meet the challenges we face today and to ensure the Firm’s long-term success.”