There is so much going on with California-based firms, we’re barely keeping up with it all. Fortunately, we’ve got a lot of friends. Here are two bits of news from within our family of legal pubs, on the issue of rumored layoffs at O'Melveny, which is rumored to be having not the best time right now, and on a firm making its first overseas move thanks to some Heller partners in London:
Our colleagues at the National Law Journal have the story on a rumor much chewed over at ATL: O’Melveny & Myers is making some cost-cutting moves that include associate layoffs. In the ATL posting, we see the firm maintaining the standard “performance-oriented” excuse for letting people go, but NLJ hears a different tale.
On Monday, O'Melveny Chairman Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr. left a voicemail message to many of the firm's lawyers informing them of "cost cutting measures," according to a former partner, who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity.
A firm spokeswoman has a lengthy official statement to the contrary though. Tight version:
"There have been no economic layoffs of associates at O'Melveny & Myers and there are no plans to conduct such layoffs.” … regularly scheduled performance reviews … “It would be inaccurate to infer a layoff from performance reviews given to less than 1% of our associates and counsel headcount. Our lawyer headcount has not declined year over year.” …"With respect to staff, we have prudently been reviewing and reducing our cost structure for the past eight months, following two years in which our expenses have grown faster than our income."
Read the story and decide who to believe — it’s the age of interactive news coverage!
Meanwhile, in London …
Goodwin Procter is set to secure its long-awaited London launch as the Boston leader secures a deal to take a U.K. hospitality and real estate finance duo from Heller Ehrman.
The initial launch will see U.S.-qualified partners Bob Asher and Brian Smith join Goodwin along with two other fee earners. They will take their book of business, which includes relationships with clients such as Starwood and Dorchester Group, to Goodwin.
The opening will give Goodwin its first office outside the United States.
That’s the top of a story by Legal Week. There’s more at the link.
— Brian McDonough