Hogan & Hartson chairman J. Warren Gorrell Jr. has confirmed that the firm will be laying off 93 staff members across its 13 U.S. offices.
The firm had previously offered buyouts to 258 staff members in an effort to avoid layoffs, but Gorrell says when the buyout offers expired on March 27, only 28 people had accepted.
“This is the darkest day of my 30-year legal career,” Gorrell tells The BLT. “For all of our employees, we did whatever we could to avoid layoffs and preserve jobs. But when we saw that only 28 people had accepted our buyout offer, we knew it didn’t solve the problem.”
The firm is offering between four and six months’ severance based on the number of years served at the firm. Gorrell says the firm is also offering everyone who is pink-slipped a $2,500 stipend for health care costs and other expenses. He adds that if the amount given to employees who accepted the buyouts is less than they would have received in severance after they were laid off, the firm will pay the higher amount.
“As a firm, we are going as far as we can to recognize that it’s a hard situation for everyone who was adversely affected,” Gorrell says.
Gorrell would not say how many people were affected in Washington. The firm has previously announced that the start date for all incoming associates is being pushed back to Dec. 1, 2009.
Gorrell says he hopes that this round of layoffs will be enough to avoid future cuts, but he would not rule them out entirely.