In-house counsel do get laid off in hard times

The Directors Roundtable invited the general counsel of Ford Motor, David Leitch, to speak at a gathering in late 2007, and a Nat’l L.J., Vol. 30, Jan. 28, 2008 advertising supplement published his remarks. Leitch mentions that Ford, which has been losing billions of dollars a year, has slashed its salaried work force by one third. “The Office of General Counsel has not been immune from these cuts. We lost 32% of our employees in the past year alone.”

I have suggested that in-house attorneys might be safer from layoffs than the average employee because troubled companies may face more legal challenges than successful companies (See my post of Dec. 6, 2006: are law departments particularly vulnerable to cost cutting.). Still, no department is an island (See my posts of Sept.13, 2005: layoffs after mergers; and April 18, 2005: wave of cost cutting.).

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