White & Case slashes jobs across international network

White & Case is cutting three per cent of its workforce including a handful of associates in London and around 70 across its US offices.

<a class=White & Case slashes jobs across international network” />White & Case is making significant layoffs across its US and UK network.

The US firm will be reducing its legal and non-legal headcount by approximately 3 per cent, resulting in the redundancy of around 70 associates in the US alone.

The number of lawyer job cuts in White & Case’s London office is not yet clear, although a spokesperson said: “A small number of fee earners, equating to about 2 per cent of headcount in London have been provisionally notified that they are at risk of redundancy.”

In a statement issued by the firm today, firm chairman Hugh Verrier, said: “We are living in a time of unique economic challenges, and well-managed, successful businesses, including White & Case, must assess their operations in light of current market realities. We believe this is a necessary step to adjust to the global economic downturn and to ensure a strong, long-term future for the firm.”

The move comes after White & Case concluded a wide-ranging review of its global operations by management consultancy McKinsey last month. Last month, TheLawyer.com reported that the firm had implemented a recommendation by McKinsey that it introduce regional and practice group heads (27 October 2008). It is thought McKinsey also recommended scaling back the partnership in less profitable practice areas.

White & Case has suffered a turbulent year, with management upheavals blamed for the defection of global co-head of banking Maurice Allen and Mike Goetz to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in March.

In today’s statement, the firm added: “These reductions are being driven in large part by a decline in attrition rates. Those who have been asked to leave will receive a competitive severance package.”