Law Firms Conduct Layoffs, Slash Salaries In Response To Pandemic

With states going on lockdown and forbidding nonessential businesses from opening their doors amid the coronavirus crisis, we knew it was only a matter of time before more law firms started conducting layoffs. Today, we can report on two more New York firms that have decided to part ways with their personnel thanks to the global health crisis.

Sources tell us that Am Law 200 firm Goldberg Segalla conducted staff layoffs “in large numbers” this past Friday. In an email to, managing partner Richard Cohen said the people who lost jobs were “largely … those whose responsibilities would be unessential or moot in the current work environment.”

He said the cuts “followed the firm’s previously established business continuity plan, which outlined reductions across various departments based on the circumstances for invoking the plan.”

He said the firm has provided severance but said it hopes to rehire once the situation improves. “Our expectation is that many of these team members will return to our firm as soon as possible,” Cohen said.

We’re told that those who were laid off at the firm will receive health insurance benefits through April.

Another firm that’s decided to conduct layoffs in the wake of COVID-19 is Belkin Burden Goldman, a Manhattan-based real estate firm. While co-managing partner Jeffrey Goldman politely said the firm had made “some adjustments to staffing,” former employees were a little more blunt:

Two sources, including a person who previously worked at the firm, told that about two-thirds of the firm’s professional staff, which had totaled about 25 people, was laid off without severance, while some staff and lawyers had their salaries halved.

Goldman declined to comment on the number of layoffs, severance or salary cuts, but wrote, “Our firm is committed to making every effort to retain all staff at the highest salaries possible until this crisis passes, with an intention of trying to return to full staffing as soon as economic circumstances permit.”

We wish all of the individuals who may be affected at both firms the best of luck while they seek new job opportunities in the legal industry and beyond.

If your firm or organization is 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 — we’ll never ignore you. You can email us or text us (646-820-8477).

2 NY Law Firms Cut Staff, Salaries Amid Coronavirus Crisis [New York Law Journal]

Staci ZaretskyStaci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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