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Bristol based Burges Salmon has begun redundancy talks that will see 18 lawyers lose their jobs while trainees are being asked to put off starting their contracts by a year.
Burges Salmon to slash jobs in major cost-cutting drive" />Bristol headquartered Burges Salmon has begun a redundancy consultation that will see 18 lawyers lose their jobs while trainees are being asked to put off starting their contracts by a year.
The firm has also announced that it is reviewing all business support services as part of an efficiency drive and is freezing support staff and secretarial salaries at 2008 levels.
The lawyer cuts will affect a number of different practices. Those who are being made redundant will be offered a package larger than statutory entitlement in addition to external outplacement support.
A decision on whether to freeze lawyer salaries will be made in September 2009.
The announcement was made to staff in an email from managing partner Guy Stobart and managing partner-elect Chris Jackson.
The statement said: "The firm remains strong and successful. We've looked at alternatives to redundancy and have implemented these but the wider economic climate is extreme."
Trainees starting in 2009 and 2010 are being given the option of deferring the start of their contracts by 12 months in return for a payment of £5,000.
Burges Salmon had appeared to be weathering the downturn reasonably well, reporting an 11 per cent rise in turnover for the 2007-08 financial year. Average profits per equity partner grew by 13 per cent to £532,000 over the same period.
Other Bristol-based firms including Bevan Brittan, Beachcroft and Osbourne Clark have all made redundancies in response to the economic downturn.