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Berwin Leighton Paisner has put in place a redundancy programme that will see 16 lawyers lose their jobs at the firm, a year after the merger
A total of 30 staff have been made redundant, the rest made up of support staff. The fee-earner redundancies involve assistants from across the firm's practice areas. "Corporate was affected, but it was from other departments as well," managing partner Neville Eisenberg told The Lawyer. Finance was the least affected. It is understood to have escaped with all but one of its assistants intact. One source said that staff at the firm had been deeply shocked as news of the redundancies emerged. Many of those called to the personnel department to be told the news were seen returning to their offices in tears. "Everybody was in shock," said the source. "Everyone was close to their targets." Eisenberg described the step as a "very difficult and very hard decision" and "something we felt was the right thing to do in light of the economic climate". Nevertheless, he claimed the firm had enjoyed a good year. "Compared to last year, and bearing in mind this was a merger year for us and that there was a downturn in the economy, I think we've held our own," he said. "This is certainly not the beginning of a process or a regular event in the firm. We always monitor things, but we're not anticipating anything more along these lines." Eisenberg said that the decision was entirely unconnected to last year's merger between Berwin Leighton and Paisner & Co.