Bevan Brittan set to make 40 redundancies

<a class=Bevan Brittan set to make 40 redundancies” />Bevan Brittan is set to make up to 40 redundancies as it kickstarts a three-year strategy plan to bolster profitability.

The redundancies come from the firm’s three offices with up to 25 staff likely to be cut from the Bristol headquarters, 10 in its London office and a further five in the Birmingham office. Six fee-earning roles are likely to be axed, along with 27 support services and seven secretarial roles.

In a statement the firm said: “A number of practice areas are underperforming, certain markets declined and investments in certain areas have not proved as profitable as hoped.”

Chief executive Stuart Whitfield said the firm would now focus on growing three key areas: public and private health; government and local government; and housing. In addition, said Whitfield, the firm would look to build its presence on panels.

The news comes as the firm pledged to increase net profit by 37 per cent for the year ending 2008-09, as first revealed by The Lawyer (May 6).

Bevan Brittan reported £17m profit for the 2006-2007 financial year. However, profits were upheld by a property deal completed by the firm last year, which boosted average profit per equity partner (PEP) from just £142,000 to £377,919. For the 2006-year end it recorded PEP figures of £166,000.

It has been a challenging year for the Bristol firm which has lost six partners to rival firms, including head of banking Philippa Chadwick who defected to Berwin Leighton Paisner and pensions head Gary Delderfield who joined Eversheds.

Whitfield said the redundancy programme would not affect future hires at the firm and pledged to “recruit people where we need to”. The firm is yet to announce any partnership promotions, but Whitfield said there would be 30 promotions on an associate and senior associate level.