A US law firm with a significant presence in London has confirmed it is making 170 redundancies worldwide.
Top 20 global firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges told staff in a mass email that 60 lawyers were being cut along with 110 support staff.
A spokesman for the firm declined to say how many people were directly affected in each office, but did confirm there will be ‘some impact’ in all regions. It is believed the cuts will predominantly affect practices in Houston and Boston.
In the all-staff email, executive partner Barry M. Wolf cited the depressed market for transaction activity as a key reason for the changes. Restructuring and litigation work relating to the 2008 financial crisis has also wound down in recent months.
Wolf said: ‘It appears that the market for premium legal services is continuing to shrink. Therefore, actions to enhance revenue alone will not be sufficient to position the firm as necessary for these new market conditions.’
Some partners may be asked to accept ‘meaningful compensation adjustments’ and Wold accepted that some partners would leave to pursue other opportunities.
He said the news was delivered through an email to inform all staff at the same time.
‘It is very painful from a human perspective, [but] the management committee believes these actions are essential now to enable our firm to continue to excel and retain its historic profitability in the new normal.’
Weil, Gotshal & Manges has 21 offices worldwide with around 1,200 lawyers.
The firm’s London base, in Fetter Lane, was established in 1996, and is now the second largest office with more than 140 lawyers providing a full service practice.