Law Firms

Orrick Lays Off 40 Lawyers, 35 Staff in Three Practice Groups

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In more BigLaw bad news before the holidays, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe just announced it is laying off about 40 associates and counsel in the firm’s real estate, structured finance, and corporate practices.

Some 35 staffers are also getting pink slips instead of a holiday ham. The firm was notified by email and an accompanying video webcast by Orrick’s chairman, Ralph Baxter.

“We believe these actions are necessary to adapt to changes in the world economy and the demand for certain legal services,” the firm said in a press release. In the release, the firm specifically noted that clients have reduced transactions because of the yearlong hammering that capital markets have suffered worldwide.

The firm’s attempts to redeploy lawyers and cut expenses haven’t been enough to save jobs.

Baxter told the Wall Street Journal Law Blog today that layoffs were a last resort. “We regret having to do this,” he said. “We only got to this after looking at every way possible to avoid it.”

The firm made clear that the layoffs aren’t performance-based and that lawyers and staff will receive “generous severance and outplacement services.” Indeed, an Orrick spokesperson confirmed that at least for those in the United States, departing lawyers and staff would receive two weeks notice and five months severance.

More Coverage:

Above the Law: “Nationwide Layoff Watch: Orrick Lays Off Attorneys”

Last updated at 3:21 p.m.

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