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Cadwalader Lays Off 35 Lawyers

Posted Jan 10, 2008 10:42 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Updated: Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft has announced it is laying off 35 lawyers because of volatility in the financial markets affecting its clients.

Both Above the Law and the Wall Street Journal Law Blog carried the announcement.

“Unexpected and persistent volatility continues to disrupt sectors of the financial markets; and is affecting the capital markets, many of our clients, and certain practices within our firm,” the statement said.

“Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft is responding to these market developments with a number of initiatives: Targeted personnel reductions will affect 35 lawyers in our U.S. offices. Other strategies involve continued practice diversification, practice enhancements, and strategic redeployment of certain persons.”

The firm announced in September that it is amping up its bankruptcy practice.

Four of its lawyers, including a capital-markets partner, recently joined a new six-lawyer office launched by Powell Goldstein in Charlotte, N.C.

Cadwalader is facing a $70 million malpractice suit for helping a client package mortgages for sale to investors in a 1997 securitization transaction. A February 2007 article in the New York Law Journal called the firm's asset-backed structured finance practice the "engine of the firm."

Meanwhile Paul Tvetenstrand, the chairman of Thacher Proffitt & Wood, told Portfolio.com that other law firms may be considering cutbacks. More than 50 associates at Thacher, which has a big structured finance practice, are taking buyouts.

Updated at 5:40 on 01/11/2008 to include Thacher Proffitt information.

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