c3pO4 wrote:bankruptcy work related to Lehman is done? isn't this a sign that the hangover from 2007 is over? shouldn't we be encouraged?
I don't think this is encouraging at all.
Lots of have people have been saying that Weil is just doing now what other firms did in the past. That is not really true. First off, Weil did a pretty big staff layoff in 2009 (publicly announced). They also deferred massive numbers of associates, even though many of their peer firms (roughly, NY V10s) did not, and they continued their deferrals into 2012, long after similar firms had returned to a normal schedule. Second, most of Weil's peer firms did not do layoffs in 2009. To the extent some of them may have stealthed people / increased attrition, there's been rumors of this happening at Weil as well, particularly in corporate. Third, very few large firms attempted to push out partners en masse (this is effectively what Weil is doing by reducing their compensation, since the partnership agreement does not allow Weil to directly fire partners without cause).
I'd also point out that the memo does not just say that BK and lit have been slowing, it also says corporate hasn't picked up. This not consistent with general market trends, at least among top NY firms. The lit departments at many NY firms are extremely short staffed right now, and the corporate departments, while not slammed, are pretty busy.
If anything, I think there's less of an excuse for doing layoffs now. Weil knew Lehman and GM weren't going to go on forever - they had plenty of time to adjust capacity by taking smaller incoming classes and/or encouraging midlevels and seniors to lateral. The fact they have to resort for layoffs to me indicates they failed to hit their demand forecasts. That is bad.