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Clifford Chance is to offer three months pay plus half of individual annual bonuses to the 20 associates it laid off in theUS last week.
The bonus will be calculated on the basis of last year’s bonus structure. Associates have also been offered outplacement services with consultancy Lee Hecht Harrison.
Unlike in the UK, where employers are obliged to pay a statutory redundancy package, no such legislation exists in the US. As a result severance packages vary significantly between firms, while outplacement schemes are less common than they are in the UK.
A ;spokesperson ;for Clifford ;Chance ;in London confirmed: “There are different statutory arrangements for Clifford Chance in each jurisdiction. Outplacement is routine here, but the fact that it was offered in the US was unusual.”
The associates affected are all in Clifford Chance’s 100-lawyer-plus litigation and dispute resolution department in its New York and Washington DC offices. This is the second round of redundancies for the magic circle firm. Last year Clifford Chance laid off six associates in its New York structured finance department.
Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft also offered severance packages and outplacement services to the 96 lawyers who were laid off in July this year. Full pay and medical benefits were provided until the end of the year, together with the opportunity for associates to buy their laptops at half price.