THE ‘L’ WORD – It’s likely more layoffs are coming for firms that overhired during the boom years of the pandemic—and you’re going to hear about them. While firms were no strangers to “stealth layoffs,” in the past, many are becoming more open about their downsizing efforts, Jessie Yount reports. The change comes down to several factors: firms, for instance, are operating more like a business and not viewing layoffs as a sign of weakness. Many also recognize the danger stealth layoffs could have on morale and are following clients’ leads in being more forthcoming about their staffing changes. “Clients have been driving that because they care about how you treat your people. That gives firms the ability to feel like they can do the right thing without damaging the ongoing enterprise,” said Ross Fishman, chief executive of legal branding firm Fishman Marketing.

RESTRUCTURINGS ON THE RISE – A shaky economy hasn’t yet translated into a surge of corporate bankruptcies. But law firms are still fielding more work helping clients deal with economic volatility and higher interest rates. Restructuring practices are now as busy as they have been at any time since 2020, with some noting that the situation is comparable to the Great Recession over a decade ago, Dan Roe reports. “We’ve been in all-out mode. We’ve had a hard time getting everything staffed and staying on top of everything. I haven’t seen this volume of assignments since the crash of 2008 and 2009,” said Thomas Lauria, global head of financial restructuring and insolvency at White & Case. Looking ahead, some believe that bankruptcies will start to pick up by mid-2023 as growing market distress forces more Chapter 11 filings.

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