Latham Offers Huge Severance Package
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Last week we reported that Latham & Watkins had cut 440 employees — 190 associates and 250 staff, the largest cuts to date by a US-based firm.

This morning The Recorder discusses the massive severance package Latham is giving those who lost their jobs — twice the size of other firms’ compensation.

The package, offered to 190 associates as well as 250 staffers, is twice the average of other firms, which have typically provided lawyers three months of severance. Industry observers said that, until Friday, the standard had been two to four months, with some firms providing no severance but three months’ notice.


The associates’ severance will cost the firm $15 million to $19 million, roughly 1 percent of 2008 revenue.

Consultants and recruiters say the generous packages should help Latham recruit talent when the economy turns around.

But some worried that the size of the layoff — 12 percent of its associates — sent a more disturbing message about Latham’s outlook on the economy and could hamper its workforce for several years.

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