Monday, May 18, 2009

Latest UK Law Firm Reduncancy News

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water...

Addleshaws have announced 85 support staff jobs will be lost in their restructuring efforts. The consultation program will include members from all offices, all support areas and will also cover the secretarial community. The Lawyer Magazine reports that this is the third round of consultations so far at the firm in less than six months. Full story here.

Simmons & Simmons have also made an announcement regarding their consultation program, with 91 staff laid off (which is an increase to the original number of 69 thought to be impacted).

Legal Week magazine said that "While the initial consultation – which began in February – has resulted in the departure of 73 members of staff, the firm has also performed a separate review of its business development and marketing functions which led to a further 18 members of staff losing their jobs."

Sofia Lind from Legal Week stated that "The 73 redundancies made as a result of the original consultation comprised 18 associates, 41 secretaries and 14 business support services staff – slightly more than the firm's initial statement that up to 20 associates, 35 secretaries and 14 other business service and support staff were at risk."

Baker & McKenzie cut 70 staff from their London office last week with 21 fee earners, 28 secretarial staff and a further 21 support staff being removed from the total headcount.

DLA swung the axe even deeper, with 24 fee earners and 100 support staff being removed from across the firm’s UK offices following their consultation, which closed last week. An earlier consultation process in December last year saw 15 fee earners and 16 support staff leave.

Legal Week also stated that Shoosmiths announced a redundancy consultation affecting 25 fee earners and 44 support staff, and that both Berwin Leighton Paisner and CMS Cameron McKenna had started redundancy consultations which were to impact 80 staff at each of the firms' London offices.

In a related item which may have future ramifications, Lovells announced an extension to their administration outsourcing approach - demonstrating that the firm was continuing to look for cost saving opportunities in the administrative areas. Full story

The lay offs are not restricted to law firms, with in-house legal also impacted. UBS have reduced their internal capacity by 20% in the past 18 months.

And it is not just support staff and the odd fee earner facing the axe. Information in from Legal Week this week that Linklaters are up for GBP50 million in compensation costs to departing partners in the coming months, with the firm looking to reduce the partnership by 10%. Full story

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