Wall Street’s Downsizing Increases the Need for Legal Services


The loss of jobs on Wall Street is keeping many attorneys busy as the need for legal representation increases. Contracts are being terminated and litigated, severance benefits are being proposed and fights for customers are escalating. Terminated employees are negotiating new arrangements, forming their own broker/dealers or investment advisory firms and entering into various contracts ranging from leases to client agreements. New registrations are being filed while licenses are being transferred. The need for experienced securities counsel has never been greater.

Since no securities firm is immune to the ongoing credit crisis, employees at every firm may find themselves in need of legal representation. Even mighty Goldman Sachs will be cutting about 10% of its workforce of 32,500 employees. Goldman, while avoiding the catastrophic mistakes that destroyed Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers, is still suffering from the drought in investment banking and trading.

Downsizing will get worse on Wall Street in the next several months. Barclays plans to cut at least 3,000 jobs from its US payroll, which includes former Lehman employees. Merrill Lynch has already eliminated 5% of its jobs this year, and as many as ten thousand more employees are likely to lose their jobs after the takeover by Bank of America Corp. At Morgan Stanley, employment was down about 3% at the end of August from the prior year’s number. These downsizings are only the tip of the iceberg, and things are likely to get much worse before they get better.

If you are employed on Wall Street and suddenly find yourself confronting one of these situations, you should consult with experienced securities counsel to protect your interests. Page Perry has been assisting members of the financial community with these problems for over 25 years.