DLA Piper layoffs compound US legal market turmoil

DLA Piper has made its second round of layoffs this week, shedding 180 US employees.

The international firm has culled 80 associates and 100 support stuff from its US offices. On Monday the firm laid off 30 lawyers and 110 support staff (10 Feb 2009).

DLA Piper is one of an unprecedented number of firms to announce layoffs in a single day. The list includes Dechert, which cut 19 associates in the US (12 Feb 2009), Goodwin Procter, which announced it is laying off 38 associates (12 Feb 2009) and Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, which has launched a redundancy consultation for lawyers in its London office (12 Feb 2009).

A statement released today by DLA Piper said that in light of the deepening economic downturn over the last few months, it had carefully considered and reduced expenses across virtually all of its operations.

“While we’d hoped for a rebound in economic activity we believe that a major improvement in 2009 is increasingly unlikely,” it added.

The statement added that normal attrition rates at the firm had dwindled during the last nine months.

The firm will provide severance benefits and outplacement counselling to those affected.