Goodwin Procter’s San Diego closure “not driven by financial considerations”

An internal memo sent to staff at Goodwin Procter last Tuesday insists that the closure of its San Diego office, which puts 22 jobs at risk, is not driven by financial considerations.

The firm announced the closure last week, confirming that the six-partner office will close its doors at the end of its fiscal year in September. Relocation or alternative work arrangements will be offered to roughly one-third of the office’s 34 staff, with the majority not staying with the firm to receive what a spokesperson coins “generous transitional assistance, including comprehensive severance packages, outplacement services and other support”.

The memo, from the offices of chairman Regina Pisa and managing partner Robert Insolia, reads: “As you may recall, when we opened the office in March 2007, we envisioned that the San Diego office would be a significant source of corporate transactional work, particularly in the life sciences and biotech areas. While this was the case initially, and while these practices have continued to grow nationally at the firm, we haven’t been able to realize our initial vision for San Diego despite our best efforts.

“By contrast, during the same period, we have seen steady expansion of our presence in our three other California locations – Los Angeles, San Francisco and Silicon Valley. In examining the allocation of our resources across geographies as part of our recent strategic planning process, we have concluded that our investments would be better directed to expanding our presence in those markets and growing those offices to greater scale.

“This decision was not driven by financial considerations. Rather, this is a determination that San Diego, from a geographic perspective, is no longer a strategic location for building the future of the firm, and a decision to reallocate our investments to those markets in California that hold greater promise for us – Los Angeles, San Francisco and Silicon Valley. We continue to be committed to growing our life sciences and biotech practice in California and throughout the other markets in which we have a presence.”

The firm did not respond to requests for further comment.