Weil, Gotshal & Manges lays off employees, cuts partner pay

The long-lasting recession is cited as the reason for this en masse layoff

Though the dust from the shocking bankruptcy of Dewey & LeBoeuf has pretty much settled at this point, the legal industry is far from stable, as demonstrated by a hefty round of layoffs announced today at Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

The 1,200-lawyer New York firm will be cutting 60 associate lawyers (about 7 percent of all associates) and 110 staff employees. In addition, about 10 percent of the firm’s 300 partners will see serious reductions in their compensation, with some partners losing hundreds of thousands of dollars. An en masse firing like this at a large firm like Weil, is rare, the New York Times’ Dealbook reports.

Though Weil has seen some high-profile work, such as handling the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, and counting General Electric among its clients, the firm is responding to the reality that demand for legal services has been down since the recession began and seems unlikely to increase, according to Dealbook.

“While we have been able to avoid these actions in the past, and it is very painful from a human perspective, the management committee believes that these actions are essential now to enable our firm to continue to excel and retain its historic profitability in the new normal,” the firm’s executive chairman, Barry M. Wolf, wrote in an email to Weil employees.

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