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Jax Daily Record Friday, May 10, 200212:00 PM EST

Holland & Knight layoffs not a trend

by: Glenn Tschimpke

by Glenn Tschimpke

Staff Writer

Holland & Knight’s recent layoffs may sound significant, especially for its Jacksonville office. Ten percent of its staff and eight percent of its lawyers were cut. But senior partner George Gabel says its just a ripple on the river of progress.

“I don’t think it’s a trend,” he said. “I think most firms make adjustments like this from time to time.”

Despite the decision to release five lawyers and six staffers, Holland & Knight’s recent “right-sizing” was a function of streamlining, according to Gabel.

“There was a firm-wide review and it was determined we had staff and lawyers where we didn’t need them,” said Gabel. “We simply had too many positions in some areas.”

Gabel wouldn’t elaborate on where the cutbacks occurred, but noted that the Jacksonville office recently added some positions in intellectual property, labor and employment law and real estate law.

Firm-wide, the word from Holland & Knight is that the law firm is in good shape.

“There was really no one office that was affected more than others,” said Karen Schoening, a Holland & Knight spokesperson. “The layoffs were fairly evenly spread throughout the firm’s 25 offices.”

Schoening said she would not comment on reports of internal dissension among partners stemming from lackluster profits.

Gabel noted that Holland & Knight’s business strategy, which emphasizes expansion and pro bono work, might always preclude it from being the most profitable firm.

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