CMS and Dundas put 60 jobs at risk five weeks before merger deadline

CMS Cameron McKenna and Dundas & Wilson have put 60 jobs at risk following their planned merger in five week’s time.

Dundas & Wilson has put 40 of its support roles under consultation and CMS Cameron McKenna could lose 20, including from its third-party suppliers Integreon, Initial and Xerox. The two firms agreed to merge on 12 December 2013 (12 December 2013).

A CMS spokesperson said: “This merger brings benefits to our clients and the majority of our staff, but as with any combination it is regrettably to be expected that there are some duplication of roles resulting in redundancy.

”This is an unsettling time for those potentially impacted and we will be doing our best to support them over the coming weeks.”

It is not the first time CMS has put support roles in consultation at its third-party outsourcer Integreon. The firm shut down part of its £600m facilities services arrangement with the provider last year (28 March 2013).

But it is the first formal redundancy consultation launched after the vote, though Dundas has lost several partners since the merger announcement.

Among those were former chairman David Hardie (7 January 2014). Environment, health and safety chief Mark Brumwell, employment partner Mandy Laurie and former Bank of Scotland partner Allan Wardhaugh have also quit (8 January 2014).

The two firms have been engaged in a flurry of meetings to bond together teams and practice areas. They are understood to have already attended join pitches for new panel spots and are in talks about how to manage shared clients (17 February 2014).

Nine Dundas partners are understood to have been handed £280,000 income guarantees as part of a high-level package decided before Christmas (14 March 2014), which also involved a two-year partner lock in (27 January 2014).

The CMS spokesperson said: “To build the best structure for the combined business, we have looked at both firms and relevant third party suppliers as part of this process.”