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Macfarlanes has launched a redundancy consultation that could affect up to 14 staff, including seven fee earners.
Up to seven lawyers are expected to lose their jobs in the real estate practice, which has been hit hard by the economic slump, with a further seven secretaries expected to be made redundant in corporate and real estate.
Senior partner Charles Martin said: "It's a tough step for us and not one we've taken lightly. We can see that our clients have been affected and we don't see things getting better in the short term."
He added that he expected departing staff to be given a package in excess of statutory requirements.
The firm's closest rival in the silver circle, Travers Smith, has also been forced to make redundancies. Four associates lost their jobs in real estate and corporate at the end of 2008 (3 Dec 2008).
Both firms are reliant on big-ticket M&A, private equity and property deals to maintain their profitable City practices.
Martin said Macfarlanes was still trying to find roles for threatened staff within the firm.
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