Brown Rudnick pulls half of first-year associate offers as London set to expand

Brown Rudnick has pulled offers from half of the associates set to join the firm in the autumn, a move that comes weeks after it announced plans to bolster its London IP team.

In a statement the US firm said that the demand for first year associates had declined in recent years, with the firm’s London office outpacing growth in New York and Boston.

Offers were pulled from 10 of the 23 associates scheduled to join the firm later this year, with those due to start in Boston or New York understood to be the most impacted.

A memo from the firm read: “Most of these associates were extended offers to work in our NY and Boston offices and we are not in a position to assimilate such a high number and provide associates with the work opportunities and training that will enable them to develop.

”The hiring process with this first year class started more than a year and a half ago when they were initially interviewed for summer clerkships. During the last two years, we have enjoyed strong financial performance and our business and legal staff have grown significantly, but most of the growth has taken place in different markets, outside of our NY and Boston offices: in London, Orange County, and Paris. 

“We were able to relocate some of last year’s class of first year associates to other domestic offices outside of NY and Boston for the fall 2013, but that is not practical to do for this year’s class.”

The message comes weeks after the firm’s London office outlined plans for growth in its intellectual property practice.

At least one IP partner is expected to join the London office in the coming weeks after IP head Georgie Collins left for Irwin Mitchell in September (9 September 2013). Latham & Watkins associate Steven James joined the office as counsel last month.

A spokesperson would not comment on how many, if any, potential associates were impacted in Brown Rudnick’s London office. News of the associate cuts were first leaked to Above the Law. 

“We regret the disappointment this will cause the affected students and to assist them we are offering them a transition payment, outplacement assistance, references and reimbursement for their bar review courses and other bar-related costs,” closes the firm memo. “All of these students are very capable and have bright futures, and we wish them well.”