Pircher, Nichols & Meeks, a 75-attorney firm specializing in commercial real estate with offices in Los Angeles and Chicago, has announced that it is laying off eight attorneys and four staff.
Leo J. Pircher, founding member, said “commercial real estate work has declined in the last six months and our clients have told us that it is not likely to pick up substantially in 2009.”
Pircher praised the laid off attorneys and staff as “fine and competent people,” but “there certainly isn’t enough commercial real estate work to go around.”
Layoffs are already occurring at smaller firms but are typically unnoticed in “ones and twos,” said Jon Lindsey of legal recruiting consulting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa.
Small firms are more likely to keep people when work slows down, but this is not an ordinary slowdown, Lindsey said.
“Layoffs are tough at a small firm, where the person making the decision knows you, your family, your situation. It is harder to pull the trigger,” Lindsey said. “But this economy hurts everybody.”