Clifford Chance makes US litigation layoffs

Clifford Chance announced it was laying off 20 associates in its US offices.

<a class=Clifford Chance makes US litigation layoffs” />Clifford Chance announced yesterday that it was laying off 20 associates in its US offices.

The associates are all in Clifford Chance’s 100-lawyer plus litigation and dispute resolution department in its New York and Washington, DC offices.

In a statement released today, Clifford Chance said the lawyers would be laid off because of “sluggishness in litigation matters”. This, it added was continuing despite the recent market volatility which has historically produced what it called “countercyclical balance”.

The firm added the layoffs were not performance related and that those affected would receive severance packages and outplacement services. The firm also confirmed there would be layoffs among its business services support staff in the fourth quarter of the current financial year.

New York litigators reacted with surprise to the news.

“We wouldn’t be laying off good litigation associates here, that’s all I can tell you,” said one litigation partner. “If you told me real estate or corporate I would not be shocked, but I find it surprising they’re laying off litigators.”

This is the second round of redundancies for the magic circle firm. Last year, Clifford Chance laid off six associates in its New York office structured finance department.