Snell & Wilmer has laid off between 30 and 40 staff members, most at its Phoenix, Arizona headquarters. A more precise number has not been provided.
No lawyers were affected.
Snell & Wilmer was founded in 1938 by Frank Snell Jr. and Mark Wilmer. The firm is the largest in the state of Arizona and the 99th largest in the US by number of lawyers, according to the National Law Journalâ€™s 2007 statistics. The southwestern regional firm, which has about 1,000 employees, also has offices in seven other cities in Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Los Cabos, Mexico.
A JDJournal tipster claims that Snell & Wilmer has in fact been laying off associates since January, with 30 let go last month.
Another tipster says (edited for clarity and length):
Snell has been shedding lawyers for months under the guise of “not making hours.” The firm has a tough billables requirement that is hard to hit even in better times. Thus, they have a built-in reason for not making [new] partners, layoffs, etc.
Don’t expect any survivors to talk, the confidentiality agreement attorneys and staff have to sign regarding firm business is tough. The sick (no pun intended) aspect to the staff layoffs is for the past few years the firm has been targeting anyone with a health concern. The firm went in-house with health care about five years ago to save on insurance premiums. This gives the firm full access to everyone’s medical files. Since then, personnel has been targeting staffers with high medical costs. I’ve seen e-mails from the company handling claims which contain lists of meds and surgical costs. Why would these e-mails go to the personnel director instead of the benefits administrator?
If you have any information about stealth attorney layoffs at Snell & Wilmer, please send us a confidential tip!