Midlands-based Browne Jacobson has made four assistants in its business services department redundant. The firm’s managing partner Brian Smith confirmed the redundancies and blamed the economic downturn for the move. Of the assistants who are affected, one is London-based and three are located in Nottingham. This is the first time lawyers at Browne Jacobson have been made redundant although earlier in the year a small number of secretaries were laid off. Smith said this was a one-off move and he does not expect further redundancies in the future. Browne Jacobson’s turnover this year inched up to £22.1m from £20.7m, while average profits per equity partner rose by 5 per cent to £210,000.