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March 9, 2009 12:34 PM

Layoffs at King & Spalding, K&L Gates

Posted by Zach Lowe

We are out of original leads for layoff stories, so we'll just state the facts: King & Spalding laid off 37 associates and counsel and 85 staffers at the end of last week, and K&L Gates announced plans to lay off 36 associates and 79 staff members today. 

The cuts at King & Spalding constitute about 6.5 percent of the firm's nonpartners, according to this story in the Fulton County Daily Report, an Am Law Daily sibling publication. (The firm has 875 lawyers, including 384 associates.) The firm, like almost everyone in The Am Law 200, struggled in 2008, as partner profits dropped 12 percent to $1.23 million even as revenues increased by about 6 percent.

Meanwhile, K&L Gates, which had a very strong 2008, is laying off 36 U.S. associates--about 4.9 percent of the firm's associates--and 79 staffers (about 4.3 percent of total staff head count). The news first broke this Above the Law post, and firm chair Peter Kalis confirmed the cuts to The Am Law Daily. He declined to comment further.

In a firmwide memo posted at Above the Law, Kalis cites the economic crisis as the reason for the layoffs: "We have had to adopt measures to strike a balance between the size of our workforce and the demand for certain of our services," he wrote.

The firm will also consider six lawyer positions in the U.K. for possible redundancies (read: layoffs), Kalis wrote in the memo.


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The Layoff List

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i'm one of those "staff" at K&S who was given the ax on Friday. Unreal. So cut throat. Definitely not the law firm I entered in the mid 80's. Sad.

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