BOSTON — Boston-based Brown Rudnick Berlack Israels laid off 20 lawyers, three paralegals and 20 staff members this week, or just shy of 10% of its workers.
The firm said that the Nov. 19 layoffs were in five of the firm’s six U.S. offices, including Boston; Hartford, Conn.; New York; and Providence, R.I. Layoffs also took place in the London office. No one was laid off in Washington or in the firm’s small Dublin, Ireland, outpost.
The firm said no other layoffs were planned and that the affected employees will receive severance and outplacement.
According to a firm press release, a statement from Chief Executive Officer Joseph F. Ryan sent to firm employees pointed to the global credit crisis and subsequent economic downturn.
“While we carefully considered all other options, we reluctantly concluded that the painful steps taken today are a necessary response to these adverse economic conditions,” Ryan stated. “Today’s action is intended to better align our staffing with current work levels at the Firm and to position the Firm to be successful in this more challenging economic environment.”
Legal gossip blog Above the Law reported that a Nov. 19 firmwide e-mail informed employees about the layoffs. Brown Rudnick confirmed that Above the Law’s story was accurate, but declined to comment further.
The firm’s Washington office, which was spared in the layoffs, scored a coup last month when it hired Jonathan W. Renfrew, former chief of staff to the vice chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. Renfrew will be director of the firm’s government law and strategies group.