Following mid-year performance reviews last week, Kirkland & Ellis laid off some of its associates across its US offices.
According to four sources familiar with the situation, the Chicago-based law firm, which earned $6 billion in gross revenue in 2022, laid off an unknown number of associates. According to the sources, the layoffs occurred at Kirkland’s offices in California, Texas, Chicago, and Salt Lake City, Utah.
Kirkland’s spokesperson told Bloomberg Law that these were not layoffs.
These were performance-based decisions resulting directly from our attorney review process, the spokesperson explained.
As work has slowed, large law firms have reduced their junior ranks. The layoffs follow a hiring frenzy for associate talent in 2021, which was fueled by a surge in transactional work.
Late last year, Cooley laid off 150 associates and staff across its US offices. In January, Goodwin Procter laid off associates, paralegals, and other professional staff across its offices due to a slowdown in legal work. Kirkland previously laid off associates last year as a result of performance reviews.