Following the recent closure of four US law firms – Thelen Reid, Thacher Proffitt –which actually survived the destruction of its NYC head office in the World Trade Center on 9/11, Heller Erhman and Dreier, the American legal jobsboard LawCrossing is warning that more firms are likely to fold this year. Thelen, Thachers and Heller all blamed the financial crisis for their demise. At Dreier, the firm had to file for Chaper 11 bankruptcy protection after its founder and sole equity partner Marc Freier was arrested last month on charges of cheating hedge funds out of more than $100 million.

Closer to home, a YouGovCentaur survey conducted on behalf of The Lawyer magazine reports that only 15% of associates
feel safe from redundancy, while only 34% of partners felt
strongly that they were secure in their jobs. It is also being suggested that the number of legal job losses to-date, particularly among partners, has been under-reported and that the full extent will not become apparent until late 2009.
The Lawyer says the total number of legal redundancies reported since the start of the recession now stands at 1259 but at Hammonds alone there are 95 posts currently subject to consultation.