Business of Law

'Poised to Grow' Ruden McClosky Lays Off 16 Staff, Including 20-Year Secretaries

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Two weeks ago, Ruden McClosky elected what amounts to a new managing partner after a tough couple of years that included a pay cut, layoffs and defections.

Last week, new co-managing partner Michael Krul said the firm was “poised to grow,” after being hit hard by the recession and the crash of the real estate market.

Yesterday, the Florida-based firm laid off 16 staff members in what outgoing co-managing partner Carl Schuster called a strategic move to achieve a standard 3-to-1 lawyer-to-staff ratio that will help cut expenses and increase profits, the Daily Business Review reports. Its article is reprinted in New York Lawyer (reg. req.).

Some of those let go had been with the Fort Lauderdale firm for more than 20 years; library and research director Sheryll Rappaport had worked there for 17 years.

No attorneys or paralegals were cut, Schuster says.

“Some of these people were very, very senior,” an unidentified former lawyer at the 85-attorney firm told the legal publication. “I thought candidly to do this three weeks before Christmas was pretty terrible.”

The now-former employees reportedly were allowed time to pack their personal belongings and provided with severance packages.

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