For a couple of weeks, we here at Above the Law have been hearing rumors of stealth layoffs at Fox Rothschild, a firm that rose to 69th on the most recent edition of the Am Law 100.
For those who might only be hearing the term for the first time, stealth layoffs allow firms to cut headcount without confirming that there were economic-based layoffs. So, they’ll give the associates X number of months/weeks to find a new job and the firm frequently couches the reductions in performance review terms, that just, purely coincidentally, happen in the midst of an economic downturn. By their secretive nature, they can be challenging to confirm in specific numbers, but insiders slowly find out something is amiss.
Fox Rothschild previously cut salaries amid the economic upheaval surrounding COVID-19, but multiple tipsters at the firm have reported layoffs — given the veneer of performance-related terminations. As one insider told Above the Law:
the firm fires people, mainly attorneys across all offices in a matter of one-two weeks and tries to give pretextual reasons for the firing, not admitting they are of course COVID-related financial cut backs.
We reached out to the firm, and they were able to confirm firing associates (though a smaller number than what tipsters are reporting). Mark Morris, Firmwide Managing Partner, had this to say about the terminations:
6 associates from Fox Rothschild were terminated. These dismissals stem from productivity and performance issues. We are assisting these individuals in their job transition.
Best of luck to those associates who now find themselves looking for work (and health insurance) amid a global pandemic/economic downturn.
If your firm or organization is slashing salaries, closing its doors, or reducing the ranks of its lawyers or staff, whether through open layoffs, stealth layoffs, or voluntary buyouts, please don’t hesitate to let us know. Our vast network of tipsters is part of what makes Above the Law thrive. You can email us or text us (646-820-8477).
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Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, and host of The Jabot podcast. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).