Dechert began the process of letting go 125 people this morning, including attorneys, other time keepers and staff.
Firm Chairman Barton J. Winokur sent out an e-mail this morning to the firm explaining that 63 attorneys and other time keepers and 62 administrative staff positions would be cut. In the e-mail, which was sent to The Legal Intelligencer, Winokur said the cuts were made in "light of the decreased market demand for legal services worldwide."
Go to The Layoff List on AmericanLawyer.com
This is the first time the firm has announced attorney cuts outside of its U.S. offices, with the majority of all of its previous layoffs -- attorneys or staff -- occurring in the United States. Some of the affected people are being given notice today and the firm is beginning the required consultation process with others, Winokur said in the e-mail. The reductions will affect offices in the United States, Europe and Asia.
"Needless to say, we are taking these steps reluctantly and with great regret," Winokur said. "None of these decisions has been made easily because we know how difficult it is to find new jobs in this challenging economic environment. We thank all these individuals for their contributions to the firm over the years."
The latest reduction is the fifth such time since March 2008 that Dechert has let go of attorneys or staff.
The firm laid off 13 U.S. associates in its finance and real estate practice in March 2008 and then later gave that group the option of taking temporary positions in other practice groups. In December, 72 U.S. administrative positions were cut and another 15 staff positions in London were put into redundancy consultation.
In February 2009, the firm cut 19 attorneys in its U.S. offices, including associates and counsel positions. That was followed a few weeks later by word the firm cut 10 staff attorneys.