Bond Pearce culls PI team after panel failure

Bond Pearce culls PI team after panel failure” />Bristol-based Bond Pearce will shed up to 25 lawyers as part of a major restructuring of the firm’s personal injury (PI) group.

The cull follows last year’s decision to end the firm’s PI work for the Transport and General Workers’ Union (T&G) to avoid client conflicts, as well as its recent failure to be reappointed to the Royal Mail’s new national PI panel following a review, which was concluded this month.

Managing partner Victor Tettmar said the PI group’s shake-up will affect average profit per equity partner (PEP) significantly, as will the cost of the move to new premises at Temple Quay in May 2006.

“The results aren’t going to be as strong as we’d like, and that’s linked to the personal injury practice,” Tettmar said.

He added: “We stopped working for the T&G a year ago and just haven’t been able to build back that strength since. Last year we achieved [a PEP of] £200,000. We’re not going to reach that this year, but the last quarter [of the financial year] is critical before we can make a precise prediction.”

Bond Pearce has begun a consultation process with affected employees. An additional 25 support staff will also leave. The consultation will conclude by the end of April.

Tettmar said: “These are talented people and I’ll try to find jobs for them elsewhere. I’ll regard myself as having not done well in that process if we can’t find jobs for many.”

Tettmar also said that, although the volume PI business would be affected, the group has “moved away from bulk” and that its industrial disease and catastrophic injury PI groups were buoyant. The firm continues to work for Royal Mail in other practice areas.