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Hunton & Williams Lays Off 23 Lawyers and 64 Staffers

Posted May 14, 2009 9:43 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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In its first round of job cuts, Hunton & Williams has laid off 23 associates and of counsel and 64 staff members.

The layoffs are spread among most practice areas and offices, according to a statement by managing partner Wally Martinez that was provided to the ABA Journal. “We did not come to this very difficult decision lightly,” Martinez said in the statement. “We have, over the past many months, taken aggressive steps to manage our expenses with a principal goal being to avoid across-the-board layoffs.”

The cuts amount to 2 percent of the firm's lawyers and 6 percent of its staff, the Am Law Daily reports.

"We're quite late getting to the layoff table, but the economic situation is a lot more prolonged and deeper than we had expected,” Martinez told the Am Law Daily. He said the layoffs were made after "we conducted our own internal stress test."

The firm has pursued an aggressive growth strategy in recent years, and Martinez said it’s not abandoning its plans. "We're still actively engaged in a couple of very important lateral discussions right now," he told the publication. "In a downturn, the margin for error is less, but you still bank on growth."

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