Law Firms

Mayer Brown Lays Off 45 Lawyers, 90 Staff

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Citing the prolonged economic downturn and a global review of its operations, Mayer Brown announced today that its reducing its ranks by 45 lawyers and 90 administrative staff.

Outgoing chairman James D. Holzhauer issued a statement (PDF) saying the firm had hoped to avoid more job losses by reducing operating expenses. But it wasn’t enough to counter the loss of business.

“We make these changes with great reluctance and regret because they affect colleagues whom we value and whose contributions we acknowledge and appreciate,” he said. “We will do our best to help them make a successful transition to the next phase of their career.”

In addition to the layoffs, Mayer Brown is postponing the start date for first-year associates to Jan. 19, 2010. Those affected will receive a $5,000 monthly stipend and subsidized medical benefits during their deferral.

Current Mayer Brown employees will be offered alternatives to full-time schedules, where that’s appropriate for the individual and their practice.

And finally, the firm says it will look for placement opportunities with pro bono organizations and corporate legal departments for some associates. Those who take on that work will receive a monthly stipend and subsidized medical benefits.

This is the second round of layoffs for the firm, which eliminated 33 lawyer positions in November.

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