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McDermott Lays Off 60 Lawyers and 89 Staff Members

Posted Feb 3, 2009 1:13 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Because of economic conditions, McDermott Will & Emery laid off 60 lawyers and 89 staff members today.

In an internal memo to all personnel today, firm chairman Harvey Freishtat confirmed the layoffs and said the decision to make them had been "tremendously difficult," according to Above the Law, which posts the full text of the memo.

"Our firm performed well in 2008 and remains strong as we move into 2009. However, we are not immune to the continued deterioration in market conditions," Freishtat writes. "The business of our clients has slowed and this has affected our own levels of activity, particularly in the transactional area."

The firm's revenue fell by 1.2 percent last year, although average profits per partner remained the same, reports the Lawyer.

"The cut represents about 5 percent of the firm's 1,100 lawyers in 15 offices," reports the Chicago Tribune.

Earlier ABAJournal.com coverage:

How McDermott Tackled its Leverage Problem

McDermott Leases Heller’s Silicon Valley Offices, Plans Expansion

Updated at 2:20 p.m. to include information from subsequent Chicago Tribune article.


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