One of Chicago’s largest law firms, Seyfarth Shaw, is getting smaller.
Seyfarth, which has more than 800 attorneys, is reportedly laying off 40 employees, including lawyers and staff. While Chicago remains the firm’s largest office, it also has locations in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. and international markets.
The firm would not confirm the scope or locations of the layoffs Wednesday, but it released a statement from Pete Miller, Seyfarth chairman and managing partner, addressing the downsizing decision.
“Amid a shifting market for legal services, we have an obligation to continue managing our business as effectively as possible, while being responsive to the needs of our clients and the market at large,” Miller said in the statement. “To meet these objectives, we have made the difficult yet necessary decision that some individuals, both lawyers and staff, will be leaving the firm.”
News of the layoffs was first reported by the website Above the Law.
Founded in Chicago in 1945, Seyfarth built its diversified practice around labor and employment law, which remains an area of concentration.
Seyfarth finished out 2016 with 847 full-time equivalent lawyers, including 198 equity partners, said Gina Passarella, executive editor of The American Lawyer, which annually ranks the nation’s largest law firms.
The firm’s gross revenue grew 5.7 percent in 2016 to $623.5 million, Passarella said. Profits per partner averaged $1.05 million, a 2.9 percent increase.