The Firms

January 14, 2010 11:08 PM

Seyfarth Cuts 20 Lawyers, 20 Staff Members Nationwide

Posted by Ed Shanahan

Seyfarth Shaw announced a round of layoffs late Thursday affecting "approximately 20 attorneys" and "approximately 20 staff," according to an internal memo distributed firmwide and provided to The Am Law Daily. As noted on its Web site, the 750-lawyer firm has offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. (one international office is listed, in Brussels).

The memo describes 2009 as "one of the most challenging years in generations for our clients, our peers in the legal profession and for our firm." Today's cuts, the memo says, reflect "an appropriate adjustment to meet the challenges of the year ahead with confidence and momentum."

The memo did not offer a detailed breakdown of the offices and practice areas affected in the cuts, nor did it specify the positions of those laid off. Some of the decisions "were made to better match current or anticipated workloads; others were made as a result of our annual performance management process for attorneys," according to the memo. (A firm spokesperson said the statement is "all we have to share/say" about the matter.)

Thursday's move is the latest in a string of layoffs made by the firm over the last two years. In May the firm cut 50 attorneys and staff members across all offices and practice groups, according to the blog Above The Law; it also announced cuts to associate and income partner salaries by 20 percent. Last January, Seyfarth laid off thirty staff members, just one month after cutting 30 attorneys in  New York, Chicago, Boston, and Atlanta. The firm cited "market conditions and expected client needs" as the factors behind the reductions.

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