Cooley Godward Lays Off 52 Attorneys, 62 Staff [Update]
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Tipsters to Above the Law are telling the legal tabloid blog that “Cooley Godward has decided to make significant layoffs today.”

Tipsters report that Tipsters that work at the firm place the numbers as high as 10 percent of associates and staff. That could put the overall number of layoffs into the fifties. The laid off employees will have to be out by the end of the week. They’re being given a 3 month severance package.

Cooley Godward spokespeople could not be reached for immediate comment.


If you work at Cooley or know someone who does, please send us a confidential tip. We’ll update this post as details emerge.

Cooley Godward Kronish LLP is a law firm that represents entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and emerging growth companies in major technology fields. The 650-attorney firm is headquartered in Silicon Valley’s Palo Alto, with offices in New York, San Francisco, San Diego, and Seattle; plus Broomfield, Colorado; Reston, Virginia; Washington, DC and Boston.

Via ATL.

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A JDJournal tipster just forwarded to us this email:


TO: All Hands
FROM: Joe Conroy
DATE: January 21, 2009

RE: Headcount Reductions

Today, Cooley is implementing a firmwide reduction in force of 52 attorneys and 62 staff personnel.

I can assure you that the decision to undertake this reduction was not made lightly and that we are providing comprehensive severance benefits as well as career counseling services.

Given the continued slowdown we have experienced in pockets of the Firm over the last five months and the forecast for continuing global economic turmoil in 2009, the Executive and Management Committees concluded that a reduction is necessary at this time. At all levels throughout the Firm we strive to provide an opportunity for everyone to grow professionally and at an appropriate pace. It was the collective judgment of the Firm’s management that in the current environment we would compromise our ability to achieve that goal without reducing the Firm’s headcount across the board.

Notwithstanding the difficult steps we are taking today, the state of our Firm is strong and I am confident about our future. The stability and shared vision of our partnership, the talent of our attorneys and staff, the diversity of our client base, the breadth of the legal services we provide and the health of our balance sheet will enable the Firm to compete effectively and prosper in these challenging economic conditions.

Through these times, we will work together with our world-class clients to strengthen and institutionalize our relationships with them. We will continue to grow and strengthen our partnership and find new ways to apply our tremendous talents to solving the myriad of challenges faced by our clients in this economy. Many of our clients need us now more than ever.

I realize this is a difficult day for everyone and I know that I can count on you to support your departing colleagues and to ease their transitions. I thank you in advance for your understanding and professionalism.

Beginning the last week of February and into the first week of March, Mark Pitchford, Lisanne Morales and I will be making presentations to attorneys and staff in each of our offices regarding our 2008 results, our plans for 2009 and the state of the Firm more generally. At that time we can certainly address questions regarding the reduction, among other things. If you have questions, comments or concerns prior to those presentations you should feel free to seek out members of the Executive or Management Committees, your office Partner-in-Charge, Director or manager – our doors are always open.


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