Latham and A&O emerge as biggest hirers and firers

The two global firms believed to have made the most redundancies over the past two years have also been the most active in the recruitment market, figures obtained by The Lawyer reveal.

Latham & Watkins and Allen & Overy (A&O) made the most lateral hires of the Sweet Sixteen transatlantic firms, with a total of 48 and 46 respectively, since January 2008 to the present.

Last February Latham announced plans to make 190 associates and 250 paralegal and support staff redundant across its global offices. In the same period it continued to make a spate of hires, with the majority, 20, in finance.

Around 400 A&O staff had lost their jobs by the end of April 2009. The majority of its 46 hires came when it raided the offices of Clayton Utz earlier this year to set up its Australia practice. The firm also recruited eight partners in the UK.

One recruitment consultant said: “An economic downturn can be good for firms in growth mode as there’s a lot less competition in the recruitment market.”