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Carolinas Roundup | International law firm closing Charlotte office

Dewey & LeBoeuf, an international law firm that expanded to Charlotte last year to serve its banks and businesses, is closing its Charlotte office, firm officials have announced.

The office, which is located in the Hearst Tower uptown and has nine associates and three partners, will close Dec. 31. The associates will be laid off, officials from the New York-based firm confirmed.

According to a statement from the firm on the legal blog “Above the Law,” the decision to close is “in part due to the economic conditions in the market, which has seen the consolidation of several major banking institutions and a challenging structured finance market.”

Charlotte managing partner Jamie Bryant declined to comment Thursday.

Dewey & LeBoeuf will also close its offices in Hartford, Conn.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Austin, Texas, the firm has announced.

The closing is the latest sign that Charlotte's legal community is taking a hit because of the slow economy. Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal laid off seven real estate attorneys in its Charlotte office recently, a firm spokeswoman said this week.

Legal blogs have reported that 20 or more employees have also been laid off at Charlotte-based Moore & Van Allen. Firm spokeswoman Jill Huse on Thursday confirmed that there were “some staff reductions last week” but would not provide additional details.

“We are trying to manage the firm the best we can given the current economy,” she said in an e-mailed statement.

There has been a string of layoffs at big law firms in recent months, including Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, which laid off nine global finance and capital markets attorneys in Charlotte in January.

Kirsten Valle

Goodrich third-quarter profits jump 32 percent

Charlotte-based Goodrich Corp. on Thursday reported a 32 percent increase in profits for the third quarter, citing increased sales and improved efficiencies in most business units.

The Fortune 500 aerospace and defense company's net income was $168 million, up from $127 million a year earlier. Goodrich also reported $1.8 billion in sales, an 11 percent increase from the third quarter of 2007.

Marshall Larsen, the company's chairman, president and chief executive, said in a statement that Goodrich has performed well in all segments, and that the company expects growth in aftermarket sales and original equipment sales to remain strong next year – due in large part to deliveries of large jets by Boeing and Airbus. Goodrich also said its full-year profit will be higher than earlier estimates.

Shares in Goodrich closed Thursday at $34.80, up almost 9 percent from Wednesday but down more than 50 percent from last December, when the stock price topped $75.

Jefferson George
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