Kirkland & Ellis, the world’s highest-grossing law firm, has cut a number of associates across offices in California and Texas after performance reviews,
making it the latest firm to slim headcount amid a collapse in dealmaking.
Kirkland, a giant with more than 3,000 lawyers, cut associates in California, Utah, Texas and Chicago last week after the reviews in March
The cuts come as corporate law firms grapple with a sharp decline in global mergers and acquisitions caused by a darkening economic outlook.
A number of the tens of lawyers that Kirkland let go had been hired to field soaring demand during the early part of the coronavirus pandemic,
government stimulus measures and access to cheap debt fuelled a boom in M&A
That boom helped push the group’s revenue to a record $6bn in 2021
The majority of the folks I have heard of being let go were lateral hires” adding “our Salt Lake City office was lateral heavy”
Another US-based M&A associate said he had noticed a “drop-off in work”, from “overloaded to normal”.
Affected Kirkland lawyers will receive four months’ pay and benefits, and will remain on the firm’s website for a period of time while they look for other jobs, the people said.
The update comes after other US law firms axed staff in response to gloomy markets and job cuts in the technology sector. Cooley, the Silicon Valley outfit, Goodwin Procter, Davis Wright Tremaine, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan and Shearman & Sterling have all cut jobs this year.
the firm was dealing with a slowdown in private equity deals by moving lawyers into busier areas such as restructuring, or secondary deals in which funds tried to secure liquidity
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