The firm began consulting with fee-earners in its real estate, corporate and commercial practices last month and, while seven people have come forward for voluntary redundancy, a further two are still at risk of being laid off. So far the firm has made a total of 49 people redundant.
Managing partner Moira Gilmour (pictured) said the decision had been a difficult one for the firm to make but added that, as the economic outlook will remain uncertain for at least two years, the firm needs to “exercise prudent financial management”.
She added: “The current recession is having a significant impact on the property and finance industries, affecting our real estate, corporate and commercial and finance practices. As a result we have had to look at reducing the number of fee earners within those areas.
“Through the process we’ve looked hard at opportunities to minimise redundancies and have been able to do this through alternatives such as secondments, redeployment and temporary reduction of working hours.”
While a further two people could lose their jobs, the firm is hoping this can be avoided through secondments.
The firm launched its first round of redundancy talks last August, with up to 15 lawyers and staff in its real estate practice taking part in the consultation (8 August 2008). At the end of the talks 11 people were laid off.
The firm launched a second round of talks at the end of last year that resulted in 31 people losing their jobs (16 January).