It was major legal industry news last April when international business and legal services powerhouse EY entered into an agreement with Thomson Reuters to acquire Pangea3, the legal managed services business.
Now, 10 months later, EY has laid off at least some of the U.S.-based lawyers who came with the deal.
While precise details remain uncertain, reports indicate that EY has let go some 20-30 lawyers who work for it in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area of Minnesota and the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas.
At least some of those who were laid off were former Thomson Reuters employees who moved to EY after the acquisition. It is not clear whether any were hired directly by EY after the acquisition.
Reports indicate that the layoffs have been confined to U.S. locations of the former Pangea3 and have not impacted locations elsewhere, including India, where Pangea3 employed a number of legal professionals.
I have reached out to executive-level contacts within EY for an official statement on the scope and reason for the layoffs.
Multiple employees in the two U.S. locations have confirmed to me that they have been laid off. They have estimated that the total number of employees let go is in range of 20-30, with 15-20 of those in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul.
Update: Someone with knowledge of the layoffs said the number affected was approximately 17 in Minneapolis-St. Paul and approximately 30 in Dallas-Fort Worth. The person also said that all affected had been hired by TR before the EY acquisition.
At least some of these employees were hired by Thomson Reuters early last year as permanent employees. They worked within the Legal Managed Services group (the former Pangea3). They worked on e-discovery review and other projects and performed work for multiple clients.
Pangea3 was founded in 2004 by David Perla, then the former general counsel of Monster.com, and Sanjay Kamlani, the former general counsel and CFO of OfficeTiger. The company pioneered the outsourcing of U.S. legal work to legal professionals in India.
In 2010, Thomson Reuters acquired Pangea3 in deal that media reports valued at roughly $40 million, but that sources familiar with the deal have told me was actually $100 million.
Last year, EY acquired Pangea3 — which TR renamed its Legal Managed Services division — for an undisclosed amount. At the time, Pangea3 employed more than 1,000 legal professionals across eight service delivery locations on three continents.
EY’s acquisition of Pangea3 followed its acquisition in August 2018 of Riverview Law, a UK-based alternative legal services provider.
As I said at the outset, details remain sketchy. While I have confirmed that layoffs occurred, I have not confirmed the number affected or the reasons for the move. As I learn more, I will provide updates.