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May 16, 2008 4:58 PM

Hunton & Williams To Redeploy Charlotte Associates

Posted by Nate Raymond

Responding to online reports of layoffs, the managing partner of Hunton & Williams says the firm is redeploying “less than five” asset securitization associates in the firm’s Charlotte office to other practice areas.

Managing partner Walfrido Martinez confirmed the move following a blog posting on Above the Law earlier Friday suggesting layoffs were in the works in the 52-lawyer office. Martinez says no one has been fired yet, but that within ten days the firm may let go of some of those associates if they can’t fit into a new group.

“Option number one is always redeployment,” Martinez says. “If redeployment does not work, we will talk about transition arrangements.”

Hunton is only the latest firm to feel the pinch in Charlotte, where the area’s two biggest clients, Bank of America and Wachovia, are still hurting from the credit crunch. Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft laid off nine attorneys there in January, and Dechert offered reassignments to three associates there in March.

Martinez stresses that layoffs may not happen if the affected associates can find a new home inside Hunton. “At the end of the day, as far as attrition goes, this might impact well less than five associates,” he says.

He also says the firm will honor all associate job offers. "The person may be offered a different practice area, if the practice area that they originally wanted to come into doesn’t have an opening,” he says. “But our offers are for the firm, not for a practice area.”

Martinez says no other office will be affected at the firm, which employs more than 900 attorneys. Hunton & Williams had a successful 2007 with $653.5 million in revenue, up 19.6 percent from the previous year. The firm's profits per partner climbed 13.3 percent, to $850,000, in 2007.

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