April 22, 2024

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Built General Tough

Benjamin Moore Lays Off Its Entire Legal Department

While we’ve been thoroughly documenting all the ways law firms have navigated the coronavirus crisis, large companies have managed to escape such scrutiny because their staffing adjustments have touched very few, if any, legal departments.

Today, all that changes.

Benjamin Moore, a Berkshire Hathaway company that’s known as one of the top paint suppliers in the nation, axed its entire legal department back in November. To add some irony to the situation, the dismissals reportedly occurred on “National Love Your Lawyer Day.”

Fresh off a more than $30 billion surge in year-over-year third-quarter net earnings for Berkshire Hathaway, a source says the company is outsourcing its in-house legal team for “financial reasons.”

Corporate Counsel has the details on the lawyers who have been forced out:

Now-former general counsel Eric Finkelman received a heads-up about the layoffs before execs at Benjamin Moore broke the news to the remaining three members of the legal department later the same day, according to the source.

The other in-house lawyers who were laid off are: deputy general counsel and assistant secretary Ira Lakritz; deputy GC of labor and employment Karyn Jefferson; and assistant counsel Marianna Codispoti.

According to a source, the company has outsourced all of its legal work to Littler Mendelson and independent contractors.

Best of luck to all those affected by the layoffs at Benjamin Moore.

If your firm or organization is slashing salaries, closing its doors, or reducing the ranks of its lawyers or staff, whether through open layoffs, stealth layoffs, or voluntary buyouts, please don’t hesitate to let us know. Our vast network of tipsters is part of what makes Above the Law thrive. You can email us or text us (646-820-8477).

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Benjamin Moore Has Dismissed Its Entire Legal Department [Corporate Counsel]


Staci ZaretskyStaci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.