McDermott lays off 149 across US network

McDermott Will & Emery has laid off 60 associates and 89 support staff in the US due to the economic downturn.

The US firm’s chairman Harvey Freishtat emailed a firm-wide internal memo today announcing the cuts.

Freishtat said: “We are not immune to the continued deterioration in the market conditions. The business of our clients has slowed and this has affected our own levels of activity, particularly in the transactional area.”

Last month The Lawyer reported on McDermott reporting a 1.2 per cent drop in 2008 revenues from $978m in 2007 to $966m last year. Profit per equity partner (PEP) remained static at $1.52m.

McDermott will be providing affected associates with severance benefits, career counselling services and a fund to assist staff who may face economic hardship after leaving the firm.

Freishtat will be meeting with lawyers and support staff throughout the network to discuss firm wide plans for 2009.

McDermott declined to comment.

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