Bloomberg Law
April 4, 2023, 9:19 PMUpdated: April 4, 2023, 9:58 PM

Silicon Valley’s Gunderson Lays Off Attorneys Across Offices (1)

Meghan Tribe
Meghan Tribe

Gunderson Dettmer, the Silicon Valley-based law firm that advises startups and venture capitalists, is laying off attorneys.

The law firm recently let go of 10% of its attorneys, paralegals and staff, Gunderson managing partner David Young said in a memo viewed by Bloomberg Law. The move came “in response to current macroeconomic and market conditions,” Young said in the memo.

A Gunderson spokesperson confirmed the layoffs, declining further comment.

The cuts include first-year associates, who officially started at the firm in January after a nearly three-month delay, according to three sources familiar with the situation.

Incoming associates graduating in the spring may have their start dates deferred on a case-by-case basis, Young said. The firm is providing severance and semi-monthly stipends for any deferred incoming associate, he said.

Gunderson made its name working with emerging companies and venture capital backers. It has advised on deals involving Andreessen Horowitz and Bain Capital, among other funders.

The layoffs follow a round of associate reductions at Kirkland & Ellis last week. Kirkland, the world’s largest law firm by gross revenue, made its cuts after mid-year performance reviews.

Gunderson, like other major law firms, rode high on the deals boom in 2021 and added to its associate ranks to meet spiking demand. It was forced to delay the start date for the first-year class as markets turned and competitors trimmed headcount.

The newest crop of associates was originally supposed to start at Gunderson on Oct. 31, 2022. The firm announced in September that it was pushing back the start date to January, citing slowing demand .

The firm has 393 attorneys across nine offices, according to figures reported by the American Lawyer.

(Updated to include information from David Young's memo in paragraphs 4 and 5)

To contact the reporter on this story: Meghan Tribe in New York at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at; John Hughes at

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