Law Firms

Morrison & Foerster Lays Off 53 Lawyers and 148 Staff Members

In response to economic conditions, Morrison & Foerster has announced that it is is laying off more than 200 people.

The firm confirmed today that the layoffs include 53 attorneys and 148 staff members, reports Above the Law. According to the law firm’s website, MoFo has more than 1,000 attorneys in 17 offices worldwide.

“These decisions are exceedingly painful, but necessary to assure that we address the current economic challenge from a position of financial conservatism and strength,” the firm writes in an internal memo obtained by the ATL blog. “Notwithstanding the difficult steps we are taking today, the state of the firm is strong and we are confident about our future. Our deep bench of legal talent, geographic and practice diversity and healthy balance sheet continue to serve us well and enable the firm to compete effectively.”

Tipsters say those laid off include 12 associates in New York and 13 in Los Angeles, ATL recounts.

Last month, the Lawyer reported MoFo’s 2008 financial results. “Revenue at the firm grew 2 percent, from $894 million in 2007 up to $911 million last year, but average profit dropped by 13 per cent, from $1.27 million in 2007 down to $1.1 million in 2008,” the Lawyer writes in an article about the layoffs.

Earlier this week, Goodwin Procter announced that two MoFo rainmakers would be joining its firm, one as co-chair of its financial services group, as Above the Law notes in an earlier post.

MoFo closed its Orange County office last year, as an post noted in April 2008.

As discussed in earlier posts, the MoFo layoffs are the latest in an ever-lengthening list of similar moves by other major law firms in recent weeks. Among them:

Wilson Sonsini Lays Off 45 Lawyers, 68 Staff, Freezes Associate Pay

Latest Layoffs: Skadden Staff Attorneys & 65 Akin Gump Staff, Among Others

Clifford Chance Plans to Ax Up to 80 Associates, Asks Partners to Ante Up

Related coverage:

Silver Lining in Law Firm Layoffs News: Many Partnerships are Better-Managed

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