BigLaw firm confirms employee layoffs for second time in a year

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Lawyer layoffs

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Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner has laid off about 50 staff members in the United States and the United Kingdom, with most of the cuts occurring in business services.

It is the second round of layoffs in less than a year. BCLP laid off 34 U.S. employees and 13 overseas employees in May.

BCLP confirmed the layoffs in statements sent to Reuters, which broke the news, and, which followed with its own story.

“Like many firms in recent months,” the firm said in a statement to, “we are conducting a small and targeted restructuring in selected areas of the firm to manage costs and shape our size and capabilities to practice demand.”

“The purpose of this,” BCLP continued, “is to maintain our strong footing and further focus on investing in priority growth opportunities, whether in terms of practice area or geography, where client demand is greatest.”

BCLP’s headcount has been dropping, according to Law360, which relied on data from Leopard Solutions. Since the start of 2023, the law firm added 206 lawyers, 131 of them lateral acquisitions, and lost 265 lawyers.

According to Law360, the losses began after 2018, when Bryan Cave and Berwin Leighton Paisner agreed to merge. Since then, the article says, the law firm’s headcount and revenue have been “trending downward almost yearly.”

But profits per partner have been rising. In 2018, PPP was $844,000. That figure rose to $950,000 in 2023.

BCLP leaders told Law360 that the law firm has focused on three primary practice areas since the merger: real estate, mergers and acquisitions, and high-ticket disputes.

“Not everybody is going to be a great fit for the combined firm,” BCLP partner Lee Marshall, who is global department leader for litigation and investigations, said in an interview with Law360.

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