Sonnenschein shuts Charlotte as work dries up

Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal has closed its 11-lawyer Charlotte office due to the declining demand for legal services

The US firm’s chairman Elliott Portnoy emailed the firm last Friday (27 February) to announce the move after partners voted on the closure.

Some Charlotte-based lawyers will be relocated to busier parts of the network. The remaining lawyers and eight support staff will be laid off and offered a severance package by the firm. Details of the severance package are unknown.

Portnoy said: “After consideration of local marketplace realities, the declining demand for legal services in the Charlotte legal and financial markets, our financial institution clients’ interests would be best served by closing our Charlotte office.”

Portnoy added that the firm has been realigning itself in recent months to prepare for continued market uncertainty.

Last year The Lawyer reported that Sonnenschein had hired 100 lawyers from Thacher Profitt & Wood (22 December 2008). The group of lawyers including 55 partners and Thacher Profitt managing partner Paul Tvetenstrand officially joined the firm on 1 January this year.

The US firm launched in Charlotte in 2007 after hiring Kilpatrick Stockton partners James Tucker, Jay Suhr and Jonathan Nugent.