Friday, June 27, 2008

After Years of Growth, Firms Pare Down Staffs, Budgets

A softer economy means that non-partners at law firms end up with targets on their heads as partners try to cut costs and build revenue in a difficult time. South Florida is just one of many areas hit by economic troubles, but the layoffs look troubling.

For example, after four out of five partners announced their defectin to Carlton Fields, litigation boutique Zuckerman Spaeder closed its Miami office in March. In this case, the partners fled, affecting the staff.

Meanwhile, Holland & Knight laid off 70 legal secretaries and accounting and information technology staffers firmwide, and Shutts & Bowen reduced its staff in Miami by nine. Holland & Knight's managing partner determined that the firm was overstaffed due to changing technology and normal business processes, and Shutts & Bowen's managing partner said the layoffs had nothing to do with the economy.

However, Blizen & Sumberg has had an uptick in litigation, as has Becker & Poliakoff. Hunton & Williams has seen their bankruptcy and litigation practices growing, particularly with an influx of Latin American and European clients.

Source: ( Career Center)

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