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.