Based on our reading of the Washington Post article, we ran a report off the Layoff Tracker of all firms that had had exactly two rounds of layoffs of lawyers in calendar 2009.
We’ve run another custom report that expands the criteria a bit: all firms that have had two rounds of layoffs (attorneys and/or staff) in the past twelve months. We also eliminate a few based on other factors.
After the jump, the revised pool (and it includes one of the most-speculated firms). More importantly, another Venn diagram!
Remember, this is what we had to work with:
“Five O’Clock Club, this is Kim,” she says. “How are you this morning?”
She rocks in her chair as she listens and scribbles notes: A law firm in Manhattan. Downsizing. Their third one this year. Twelve employees. Probably in August. More to come in October and November.
First, the entire list of firms that have had exactly two rounds of layoffs reported in the past twelve months:
- Akin Gump
- Blank Rome
- Buchanan Ingersoll
- Day Pitney
- Dewey & LeBoeuf
- Eckert Seamans
- Edwards Angell
- Fish & Richardson
- Jenner & Block
- Katten Muchin
- Kirkland & Ellis
- Manatt Phelps
- McKee Nelson
- Morgan Lewis & Bockius
- Paul Hastings
- Quinn Emanuel
- Reed Smith
- Ropes & Gray
- Schulte Roth & Zabel
- Shearman & Sterling
- Weil Gotshal
- White & Case
- Wildman Harrold
Of the firms that meet our revised criteria, we can eliminate Dewey & LeBoeuf, Morgan Lewis, Schulte, and White & Case. Each of those firms has contacted us and/or Above the Law to deny being the firm in question.
That “Manhattan law firm” comment makes things tricky.
Eckert Seamans, whose only NY office is in White Plains, doesn’t even have a Manhattan presence, so that can be eliminated out of hand. Simmons is a UK firm with no US office at all.
So of the firms left, only the following could really be considered “Manhattan” firms:
- Akin Gump (104 total in February, 65 staff in January)
- Proskauer (23 lawyers in March, 60 total in December)
- Shearman & Sterling (78 staff in March – but 18 of those were in London)
- Skadden (two rounds of staff-lawyer layoffs in January (30) and March (50))
- Weil Gotshal (27 total when it closed its Austin office in June, and 79 staff in May)
Could we be getting closer?
Proskauer, Skadden, Weil, and White & Case all appear on the Five O’Clock Club’s (now removed) list of law-firm clients. The Club also seems to specialize in staff layoffs, so factor that into your speculation. Of course, being on the list doesn’t mean that the Club’s services were used recently; it means that the firms were astonishingly stupid in not prohibiting their names from being used in lists exactly like this.
And three separate criteria… what could be more useful than a Venn diagram?
Less likely are the following, which at least have Manhattan presences (and their actual or notional headquarters)
- Bingham (Boston)
- Blank Rome (Philadelphia)
- Buchanan Ingersoll (Pittsburgh)
- Day Pitney (Hartford, CT / Florham Park, NJ)
- Edwards Angell (Boston)
- Fish & Richardson (Boston)
- Freshfields (London)
- Howrey (Washington, DC)
- Jenner & Block (Chicago)
- Katten Muchin (Chicago)
- Kirkland & Ellis (Chicago)
- Manatt Phelps (Los Angeles)
- McKee Nelson (now part of Bingham)
- Orrick (San Francisco)
- Paul Hastings (Los Angeles)
- Quinn Emanuel (Los Angeles)
- Reed Smith (Pittsburgh)
- Ropes & Gray (Boston)
- Wildman Harrold (Chicago)
So the Top 3 based on likelihood, in our estimation are:
- Akin Gump
Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments.