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Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft is laying off 35 attorneys due to what it calls “unexpected and persistent volatility” in financial markets sectors. The 721-attorney law firm based in New York announced Jan. 10 that the layoffs would affect “targeted personnel,” including 35 lawyers in its U.S. offices. A downturn in capital markets work is also forcing the firm to diversify practices and redeploy “certain persons” into other practice areas, the statement said. The layoffs at Cadwalader signal some of the most significant fallout at a law firm thus far from a downturn in capital markets legal work due to ramifications from the subprime mortgage collapse. In a statement released through the public relations firm, Hill & Knowlton, Cadwalader said that the layoffs would affect “some talented lawyers who have made significant contributions to the firm.” Cadwalader is fourth in terms of the profits per partner among the AmLaw 100 firms, The American Lawyer’s list of the nation’s highest grossing law firms. In 2006, its profits per partner equaled $2.9 million, 13.9% increase over the year before. The law firm has 463 attorneys in New York, 106 in Charlotte, N.C., 82 in Washington, 67 in London and three in Beijing. It is the 50th largest law firm, according to the NLJ 250, the annual survey of the nation’s largest law firms.

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