The layoffs just keep coming.
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is the latest law firm to trim attorneys and staff. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based firm is eliminating 45 associate jobs and 68 staff positions, according to a memo sent to workers on Monday by Chief Executive Officer John Roos. That memo was posted on the legal blog Above the Law.
Firm spokeswoman Courtney Dorman confirmed the cuts and said that corporate practice areas are seeing the biggest impact.
“Capital markets have been affected by the economic downturn, and we are a firm that is focused on capital markets,” Dorman said.
Laid-off workers were informed of the firm’s downsizing in meetings on Jan. 26, Dorman said. Like many of the other firms that have let workers go, Wilson Sonsini stated that its decision was economic and not based on worker performance.
‘The utmost regret’
“Throughout the past year, we have applied cost-cutting measures and taken other steps in an effort to mitigate the effects of the downturn,” Roos said in his memo. “Unfortunately, as the general economic environment has worsened, it has become clear that prudent management of our business requires that we take further action.”
Additionally, the memo announced that the firm is freezing associate pay but still will hand out associate bonuses.
“We truly believe that we have the best attorneys and staff in the legal profession, and we are taking these actions with the utmost regret and only after a great deal of reflection and deliberation,” Roos wrote in his memo. “But we also are resolute in our belief that we have a durable business model and a strong and diverse client base, and that we are taking the necessary steps to weather the current economic downturn and emerge well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead.”
Wilson Sonsini also has offices in Austin, Texas; New York; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; Washington; and Shanghai, China. Prior to the reductions, the firm had about 620 attorneys.