Sonnenschein makes second round of redundancies

Sonnenschein makes second round of redundanciesSonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal has laid off 24 lawyers as well as support staff in its second round of staff cuts this year.

In a confidential email sent to the firm and seen by The Lawyer firmwide managing partner Elliott Portnoy (pictured) confirmed that the redundancies, which will see partners, associates and counsel lose their jobs, were being made due to economic conditions.

Portnoy said in the email: “As many of you know we have made the difficult but necessary decision this week to reduce our legal and administrative staff levels in order to align our resources with the expected levels of client demand in 2009.

“Approximately two dozen lawyers are affected by these cuts. The cuts also affect roughly the same number of support staff as were impacted by the infrastructure changes we implemented in May.”

Earlier this year (28 May) The Lawyer reported that the US firm laid off a total of 124 staff including six partners, four counsel and 27 associates. The majority of cuts were made in the real estate and litigation practice groups.

The firm has scheduled a series of meetings for all employees on 21 October to discuss layoffs and answer any questions from staff.

Sonnenschein is the third firm to announce US layoffs this week after Clifford Chance shed 20 from its US litigation practice on Tuesday (14 October) and Katten Muchin Rosenman made 21 redundant yesterday (16 October).

Despite the cuts, Portnoy told the firm he remains positive for the future, highlighting the success of the firm’s international network in his email.

Portnoy said in the email: “There is much about which we can be proud, despite the adverse economic climate. We continue to grow a number of key practices with talented attorneys and policy professionals; our newly opened Zurich office is thriving; veteran and new partners have secured important new representations; we are closely collaborating with our clients on new areas of client service.”