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Layoffs Announced at Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman
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It is rumored that up to 40 employees have been laid off from Kasowitz Benson.

Summary: New York litigation firm Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman laid off a significant number of senior attorneys, associate attorneys, and staff earlier this week.

According to Bloomberg, New York litigation firm Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman announced a major layoff of senior attorneys, associates, and staff on Tuesday. According to Wikipedia, the law firm has nine offices across the United States.

  
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Layoffs hit the firm last February as well.

Marc Kasowitz revealed the layoffs in a firm-wide email on Tuesday. The email read, “We will be reducing attorney and staff head count in certain areas today…Impacted attorneys and staff members were informed of these actions this morning. We are providing each with severance benefits and making career counseling services available.”

Kasowitz

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One source claimed that as many as 40 employees were affected by the layoffs, but this figure was neither confirmed nor denied by the firm.

In explaining the move, Kasowitz said, “We had a strong year last year, and we’re looking at markets for litigation that are volatile and unpredictable. We’re trying to plan smartly for the future. I think that’s the most accurate way to sum up our thinking of this.”



The firm opened an office in Silicon Valley in 2011.

Revenue at the firm increased by 14.6 percent in 2014, following two major mortgage-based securities settlements. At the beginning of 2014, Kasowitz Benson represented the U.S. Federal Housing and Finance Agency in its $1.25 billion settlement with Morgan Stanley. Later that year, the Federal Housing and Finance Agency agreed to a $122 million settlement with Societe Generale. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also joined the Federal Housing and Finance Agency in that settlement.

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At the time of the settlements, Kasowitz laid off dozens of attorneys. From 2013 to 2014, the number of attorneys with the firm decreased from 372 to 337.

Kasowitz Benson’s Los Angeles office opened its doors in 2013.

According to Dan DiPietro, the chair of Citi Private Bank’s law firm leading unit, the firm’s move looks forward, since litigation demand has been very slow. He explained, “Increasingly, we’re of the belief that systemic changes are driving this softness. These include a reduced appetite among CEOs and GCs to litigate, due in part to the ever escalating costs to do so. Even among those GCs who do decide to litigate, there’s a growing tendency to… parcel the lower end work to entities outside the traditional law firm world or to take it in-house.”

Source: Bloomberg

Photo credit: bizmology.hoovers.com, litigationdaily.com (Kasowitz)



 

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