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Morrison & Foerster to Cut 4% of U.S. Staff, Citing Virus Impact

Feb. 1, 2021, 8:05 PM

Morrison & Foerster will lay off roughly 4% of its U.S. staff in response to trends accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a spokesperson for the global law firm.

The firm will also eliminate “a handful” of staff positions in the U.K., amounting to a total loss of 38 employees across two continents.

“To position the Firm for continued success, we regularly evaluate our staffing model in light of technology advances, demand for services, and the needs of the business, and make adjustments accordingly,” the spokesperson said in a statement provided to Bloomberg Law on Monday.

“As part of this process, it became obvious that the fundamental changes we have experienced over the past year will outlast the pandemic, and that we needed to adapt, investing in those roles that best serve our clients’ emerging needs.”

The shift to working from home during the pandemic has shaped personnel decisions, leading to layoffs of staff members at some Big Law firms.

Others that have shed staff since last March include Skadden Arps, Winston & Strawn, Sheppard Mullin, and Hogan Lovells. Attorneys at major law firms have fared better than initially projected, avoiding the mass layoffs that shook the industry during the financial crisis and Great Recession of the 2000s.

Those let go from Morrison & Foerster will have the opportunity to receive severance and outplacement job services, the spokesperson’s statement said, and those in the U.S. will be eligible for healthcare benefits.

“We deeply appreciate the dedicated and valuable contributions these individuals have made to the Firm,” said the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rebekah Mintzer in New York at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com

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