DLA Piper announced in a firmwide memo today that the firm will be laying off 21 associates and 100 staff, Leigh Jones of The National Law Journal reports. The firm declined to say how many people would be affected in Washington.
This round of cuts marks the second round for the firm this year. In February, DLA Piper pink slipped 80 associates and 110 staff members. The firm announced in May that it was moving away from lockstep compensation for first year associates, opting for a merit-based salary structure instead. The firm also said at the time that it was cutting salaries for first-year associates from $160,000 to $145,000.
"[D]emand across the legal sector remains soft, and it is increasingly clear that major improvements in the U.S. and global economy will not occur before 2010," said the memo, which was signed by firm chairman Francis Burch Jr., Joint Chief Executive Lee Miller, and U.S. managing partner Terence O'Malley.
Read more about the layoffs here.
Here is the firm's full statement:
During the last year, we have experienced the worst economic period in generations. We have carefully gauged its impact on our business and responded by closely scrutinizing and reducing all of our material expenses across the board. We also reduced our workforce in February, attempting to preserve as many jobs as possible while avoiding any further reductions later in the year. Unfortunately economic weakness has continued, demand across the legal sector remains soft, and it is increasingly clear that major improvements in the US and global economy will not occur before 2010. We have therefore regretfully concluded that we must reduce our ranks now by 21 associates and 100 staff. While the firm’s financial position remains strong, a tightly-managed cost structure is essential to compete effectively during these uncertain times. We value all of our people and are very grateful for their contributions to the firm, and we have worked hard to consider and employ every reasonable measure to avoid lawyer and staff reductions.
Our practice group leaders, office managing partners and senior administrative staff are meeting today with those directly affected to discuss the details of this decision. The firm will provide severance benefits, outplacement counseling and other resources to support their transition. This reduction is based on the economic climate and does not reflect on the performance of those affected.
We will be holding town hall meetings in some of our offices on Thursday to provide you with an opportunity to hear directly about these developments, and you will receive notification of time and place shortly. Your understanding, support and consideration for your colleagues as we move through this will be vital. Please take the time to attend a town hall meeting. Thank you.