Wilson Sonsini axed 45 lawyers and 68 staff today. The majority of the cuts are in the firm’s Palo Alto headquarters, according to firm spokeswoman Courtney Dorman. The news was first reported on Above the Law.
“It’s economic downsizing,” Dorman told Legal Pad. “I think every business has been impacted by the downturn and we’re not exempt from that.”
Last week, Valley competitor Cooley laid off 52 lawyers and 62 staff citing the crappy economy. Most of those cuts were corporate lawyers and the same is true at Wilson Sonsini.
“The capital markets have been considerably weakened by what’s going on and we’re heavily focused on the capital markets,” Dorman said.
The layoffs were announced at a partner meeting this morning. A memo was sent out to the entire firm after the meeting.The firm also announced that associate salaries will be frozen for the upcoming year.
Legal Pad believes it's the first time that Wilson Sonsini has publicly announced lawyer layoffs. Following the dot-com bust, the firm shed more than 150 associates through performance-related firings and attrition, but didn't call them layoffs.
More to come later — specifically, we'll have a story up at CalLaw.com tonight.
- Zusha Elinson