US law firm Duane Morris has cut around 18% of its marketing and business development staff, making staff reductions that echo moves at other firms in recent months.
The 650-lawyer firm now has a marketing and business development team of 30-35 people, after laying off seven managers and staff and hiring three more senior executives in the past few months, said Ed Schechter, the firm's chief marketing officer.
Most of the job cuts were in Philadelphia, where the bulk of the department's staff is based, but some were in other offices, including Chicago.
The move by Duane Morris follows administrative staff cuts at Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson this month and the layoffs of 13 support staffers at Philadelphia-based Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll and 50 legal secretaries at Reed Smith earlier this year.
Some firms, including New York's Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, have also laid off lawyers. Among the reasons for making the reductions is to reduce costs at a time when law firms are feeling the pinch of the weakening US economy.
At Duane Morris, cost-cutting was a "secondary" consideration, with the firm primarily interested in building up a more experienced and leaner team, Schechter said.
The firm has recruited a new marketing director, Susan Shallcross, who will join the firm next month from Washington-based Arnold & Porter, where she worked for nearly 12 years as marketing and communications director. Duane Morris also has hired a senior business development manager to oversee all activities in that area and a marketing manager with 15 years' experience during the past few months, he said.
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