Sure, Goodwin Just Laid Off A Bunch Of Lawyers, But That Doesn't Mean They're Going To Stop Adding Laterals

Good news for the firm, not good news for the attorneys who were recently laid off.

hiredIn ordinary times, news of a practice group lateraling from one Biglaw firm to another would be treated in a pretty perfunctory way. Sure, it’s good news for the group’s new firm and not great news for the old firm, but so it goes in the Biglaw lateral carousel. But, when we have Biglaw firms laying off ~90 attorneys, we are no longer in ordinary times.

You’ll remember, of course, Goodwin Procter’s decision earlier this month to cut back on its headcount. Overall, it laid off 5% of its workforce, saying, “After much thought and careful reflection, we concluded that—regrettably—our current staffing levels are too high for our current and projected demand.” But not all staffing decisions are the same.

We’ve learned that a group of Troutman Pepper partners in the Health Sciences group are leaving the firm for… Goodwin. From an internal email sent around Troutman last week:

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While exact numbers are in flux, the lateral move is likely to ultimately include associates as well. A tipster at the firm notes associates potentially making the move with the partners who have turned in their notice are excited to “finally” get paid market salaries. I guess there has to be some benefit to moving to a firm so recently in the news for layoffs.

I’m sure this group has an impressive book of business that Goodwin is excited to add to their ledgers. But the timing is… not great. It’s bad enough to get axed from your firm, but when that’s coupled with the same firm excitedly expanding in other areas it has to add salt to that wound.

When reached for comment, a representative for Troutman Pepper had this to say, “We can confirm that certain attorneys have given notice of their intention to leave our firm. We appreciate their contributions to Troutman Pepper and wish them well in their future endeavors.”


Goodwin declined to comment about this story.

Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, host of The Jabot podcast, and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. 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 or Mastodon