Weil Gotshal & Manges has laid off 79 support staff across its US offices due to the pressures of the economic downturn.

Firm chairman Stephen Dannhauser sent a firmwide email last Friday (29 May) informing employees of the cuts.

Dannhauser said: “The firm’s management genuinely regrets the need for this action, but has determined that it’s vital to our continued efforts to increase efficiency and competitiveness of our organisation in a rapidly evolving business climate.”

Dannhauser added that the affected staff will be provided with severance packages including transitional income and benefits although no detail has been provided on the specific package provided.

Weil’s management has not yet made cuts in the international offices, although a source at the firm said further cuts are being considered.

Dannhauser said: “Notwithstanding the balanced nature of our practice, we’re not immune to the larger long-term forces shaping the industry or the economy at large.”