Cable & Wireless slashes in-house team with compulsory redundancies

Cable & Wireless is downsizing its in-house legal team despite the improving fortunes at the FTSE 100 telecoms company.

As part of the move Cable & Wireless has launched a compulsory redundancy programme that will affect up to 30 per cent of the company’s UK-based lawyers. It is understood that the telecoms giant has approximately 40 lawyers based in the UK.

The redundancies, which are understood to be principally affecting senior lawyers, are part of a radical overhaul of Cable & Wireless’s in-house legal function. It is expected that additional junior staff will replace some of those leaving the department.

A well-placed source said the redundancies are necessary because of the ongoing challenges faced by a business that has in the past regularly issued profits warnings.

The dramatic cull follows a restructuring of Cable & Wireless’s nine-strong legal team based in mainland Europe, which resulted in three voluntary redundancies in 2003.

Last year also saw the departure of Cable & Wireless global head of legal Dan Fitz, who left the company following a management shake-up. Fitz was replaced by Reuters deputy general counsel Andrew Garard
last July.

In a separate move, Cable & Wireless’s exit from the US resulted in a number of lawyers moving with the assets that were bought by Savvis Communications Corporation in March. Cable & Wireless now has just one lawyer based in the US.

Cable & Wireless declined to comment.