Everything's going to be fine.
Dechert is making redundancies in London as part of a global drive to reduce its headcount due to “market challenges”.
The US firm is axing 55 lawyers and 43 business service professionals worldwide which includes those who “have been made redundant or are at risk in London”, said a spokesperson.
Dechert, which has its headquarters in Philadelphia, employs 1000 lawyers across 21 offices, including 157 solicitors in its London office.
In a memo to staff on Tuesday, Dechert Chair Andy Levander and CEO Henry Nassau wrote that “taking these actions has been a difficult decision”.
“We have carefully examined existing and projected demand for our legal services and determined that we need to align our staffing levels with demand”, said the pair, citing “market challenges”.
Injecting a dollop of cultural woowoo, they also explained the decision by stating that it was necessary to “ensure that our attorneys and business professionals have meaningful experiences”.
Carrying all your stuff out in a box certainly would feel meaningful, if not in a good way, but Levander and Nassau reassured departing staff that they would also receive “severance benefits and career counselling services”.
Dechert said in a statement on Wednesday that 5% of its total global workforce "will be impacted”, but declined to specify precisely how many people were being lost from the firm's London office.
“While this was a difficult decision, we continue to execute on the firm’s strategic plan by providing world-class legal service, focusing on areas of growth, bringing high-profile clients and matters to the firm, and advancing innovation in the legal industry”, it said.
Dechert is not alone in slashing staff after a hiring spree in recent years, with a number of US firms in particular making redundancies. ROF reported last week on job cuts at Cravath’s London office, although it said its motivation was a pivot to English law advice, rather than a drop-off in deals, resulting in the termination of several US lawyers.
Following publication a Cravath associate told ROF the firm fired seven of its US lawyers out of “about 20-25 associates total in London”.
If your firm is making cuts, let ROF know.
Let top firms and companies ping your app when they like you for a role. Keep an ear to the ground with LawyerUp, available on the App Store or Google Play.
The truth is most US firms in the City aren’t profitable. Unless you get a job at true US elites (K&E, Latham, Milbank, Paul Hastings, Ropes, Simpsons), it would be wise to stay where you are for job security
Quality Harold usage, folks!
Or maybe, you know, they are just uncompetitive...just saying.
If you are an NQ at K&E on £160k in a quiet market then you might find out that job security is not necessarily part of the package...I'm not sure Dechert laterals will be the only ones with buyer's remorse.
Supply and demand, basic economics. As the price increases, supply rises. When demand for legal service decline, prices should decrease and/or firms stop trading. New legal organisations will incorporate AI with much reduce costs. Existing Legal firms will need to reduce prices or simply fold.
Weirdly I was phoned this morning about a job at Dechert. Then again, I was being called by various recruiters about roles at KWM right up until it popped.
I’m just here to complain about the nonsense that is the SQE..
Dechert doesn’t pay Cravath rates in London so is and has never been a true US firm.
Shet firm with zero clients, and a greedy partnership that’ll chop heads to keep the dollars flowing into their pockets. Who’s surprised here?
Love laughing at all you Biglaw worker drones slaving away for hours to make the partners rich.
Then you get laid off.
I just settled a pedestrian v cab case for $720k. That's a $239,000 fee for a single case.
Own. Don't work for someone else.
Have a nice day.