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Firm cuts 2 percent of workforce

January 19, 2009

Indianapolis law firm Ice Miller is cutting about 2 percent of its total workforce, a reduction that doesn't include any attorneys and that the firm denies is a result of the current economic climate.

Chief managing partner Byron Myers could not be reached directly by Indiana Lawyer to comment on this staff reduction, but firm spokeswoman Joy Fischer said that the 2 percent cut includes 14 positions from various support areas. She didn't know specifics on those jobs but said no attorneys were impacted. She denied that the economic downturn was the cause, instead referring to the firm's statement, which made mention of an operational review.

"Over the last few months, we have been engaged in a thorough review of all aspects of our business operations in an effort to increase efficiencies and productivity to better serve our clients," Myers said in the statement. "As a result of that review, we determined that we could consolidate some of our internal processes which resulted in much more efficient staffing requirements."

This is the third firm in the past two months to cut support and administrative positions. Bose McKinney & Evans cut 11 support positions Jan. 9, almost 8 percent of its operational staff. It was a move that didn't involve any attorneys but was something that law firm leaders said was necessary because of the economy.

A month earlier, Baker & Daniels eliminated 22 support positions - 12 in Indianapolis and 10 in Fort Wayne. No attorneys were impacted, and managing partner Tom Froehle denied the economic turmoil was the reason for those cuts, noting at the time that they would have happened even in a good economy. An internal operational review showed how the firm could improve its efficiency and operations by using technology and fewer employees, he said.

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