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At least 200 UK jobs in the legal, compliance and audit team are under threat at collapsed bank Lehman Brothers.
This is understood to include at least 60 qualified lawyers, with the rest being made up of compliance, auditing and other staff in the bank's legal team. According to a source within the team, none of the its lawyers have walked out yet and the legal team are working closely with PriceWaterhouseCoopers on the administration.
The news follows Lehman Brothers appointing PricewaterhouseCoopers as UK administrators yesterday to unwind the business. A raft of Lehman legal CVs are in the hands of legal recruiters, who have been circling the remains of the collapsed investment bank in London (The Lawyer, 15 September 2008).
Lehman’s collapse is expected to result in 4,000 redundancies at Canary Wharf, causing widespread fear among in-house lawyers in the banking sector.
One City legal recruiter said: "There are lots of people, not just at Lehmans, who are sticking their heads out and having a look - we've even been seeing people from Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley."
He said that he had already received 20 CVs of Lehman in-house lawyers after spending yesterday at the bank's headquarters in Canary Wharf.
Another recruiter told The Lawyer that a large number of Lehman lawyers, as well as those at other City banks, were looking to return to private practice. She had received several from Lehman on an unsolicited basis, she said.
However she added that there was some good news for Lehman’s in-house lawyers. "In other areas the lawyers are sometimes the last to go - they are actually quite valuable to the administrators. Many at Lehmans may not have been let go yet."