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February 2, 2009 | last updated November 30, 2011 5:04 pm

Pierce Atwood lays off 21

Pierce Atwood, the largest law firm in the state, laid off 21 employees last week, including seven attorneys and 14 staff members, Gloria Pinza, the law firm's managing partner, told Mainebiz this morning.

The laid-off attorneys were based in Pierce Atwood's Portland and Portsmouth, N.H., offices, while the 14 staff members were in its Portland, Portsmouth and Augusta offices. "Obviously, we never like to do this, but given the uncertainty of the economic climate and the fact our clients want us to keep our costs under control, we felt we needed to make some adjustments to realign our resources with what our clients' needs are right now," Pinza said. "I wish someone had a crystal ball, but 2009 doesn't look like it will be a good economic climate, so we felt it a prudent business decision."

Pinza also told Mainebiz the law firm is hiring three new attorneys at its Boston office in February and that in March it will open a new office in Providence, R.I., with two new attorneys. Despite the economic climate, Pinza said the law firm sees some opportunities to grow in those markets.

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