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San Francisco-based Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison laid off 35 associates and 24 staff Wednesday in its third round of employee cuts since November. All of the associates are in the firm’s business and technology group — which has been hardest hit by the sharp falloff in corporate work. Late last year, Brobeck announced that 82 associates in the business and technology group had taken the firm’s offer of severance pay to leave the firm. Two months later, Brobeck laid off 54 associates — 90 percent from the B&T group — and 85 staffers. Together, the cuts have reduced Brobeck’s associate ranks by 171 attorneys. The firm had about 870 attorneys at its height at the end of 2000 and now has 640 attorneys, a 26 percent decline. Brobeck firmwide managing partner Richard Parker said the firm decided to implement another round of layoffs when it realized work would not grow significantly in mergers and acquisitions, IPOs and capital markets transactions. “We left a lot of excess capacity there because of some level of reasonable optimism that the economy would pick up,” Parker said. “The nine-month trend on demand for our work has held pretty steady.” Because the B&T group doesn’t expect to see a dramatic increase in work for the next two — and probably next three — quarters, Parker said “it didn’t make sense to retain the excess capacity we had.” Parker declined to say which offices were affected by the cuts, adding that some were not affected at all. The recent layoffs come one week after Joseph Siino, the head of Brobeck’s Northern California technology group and former B&T team leader in the San Francisco office, left to start his own intellectual property consulting firm. Siino, who had been in the firm’s East Palo Alto, Calif., office, said his decision to leave had nothing to do with the troubled economic times but came about because of his interest in the growing IP market. Brobeck boosted the ranks of the B&T group dramatically during the dot-com heyday, adding 200 attorneys from the beginning of 1999 through the end of 2000, for a total of 416. The firm now has 210 attorneys in the B&T group. “The boom went away, and for those additional people, there’s not the work,” Parker said. In addition to the layoff, Brobeck is moving a “handful” of associates from the B&T group to other practices. Parker said he didn’t know what the exact number would be. In recent months, a number of corporate associates have been moved to other practices, including securities litigation and the commerce and finance group. Parker said the number is “certainly more than 30 and less than 60.” Associates in the latest round of layoffs will be eligible to receive three months’ severance. Staff will be eligible to receive two weeks’ salary for every year of employment at the firm. Associates said they weren’t surprised by the latest wave of cuts. “People have been expecting it for two weeks,” said one associate on the condition of anonymity. “People are pretty sad and not focused on anything.” Parker said the firm tried to avoid cutting more jobs. “The old management saw is ‘do it once and get it over with,’” Parker said. “The way we did it is the best way to preserve as many jobs as possible.”

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