Just when you thought that Biglaw firms may be putting an end playing “follow the leader” when it comes to layoffs, we have another firm that’s conducting layoffs. This time, the job cuts seem to be a mixture of both stealth and outright layoffs.
According to a report from the American Lawyer, the firm behind the latest round of layoffs is Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft. The firm brought in $544,832,000 gross revenue in 2022, putting it in 84th place in the most recent Am Law 100 — an 11-spot drop thanks to a more than 10 percentage point decline in revenue.
The firm has cut ties with about 30 business professionals and 15 associates across all of its offices. Here are additional details:
Sources said the business professional ranks were slashed as the firm right-sized various roles, including legal assistants. Cadwalader saw redundancies and inefficiencies with its existing staff headcount as technology and more attorney self-help have created a lower need for those services, similar to staffing cuts at other firms.
As far as the attorneys are concerned, sources have said that their cuts were part of “annual performance reviews,” the corporate phrasing du jour for stealth layoffs. Curiously, “performance-based” decisions like these have resulted in job losses at several top-tier Biglaw firms in recent weeks, with one firm going to far as to claim that these were “not layoffs.” Hmm, this seems incredibly fishy to all of us here. If it walks, talks, and stinks like a stealth layoff, it’s a stealth layoff.
Best of luck to those who are being let go from Cadwalader.
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Cadwalader Makes Cuts in Associate and Business Professional Ranks [American Lawyer]
Staci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.