Nineteen jobs go at Pinsents as PEP falls 38 per cent

Pinsent Masons has reported a 38 per cent fall in average profits per equity partner (PEP) as the firm reveals a package of measures in response to challenging market conditions.

The PEP figure for the 2008-09 financial year was £310,000, down from £500,000 last year. The firm’s turnover figure, which was published last month, rose by 1 per cent during the year to £215m (11 June 2009).

It has also emerged today that 19 lawyers and support staff have been made redundant at the firm. A Pinsents spokesman said that roughly half that number were lawyers but would not comment on which practice areas were affected.

Managing partner David Ryan (pictured) said the firm had tried to avoid job losses by rolling out its flexible working scheme.

Around two-thirds of staff have been asked to volunteer for the programme, which allows employees to take sabbaticals of up to 13 weeks on 20 per cent of salary or work a four-day week on 80 per cent of pay.

The maximum reduction in wages is 20 per cent of annual salary.

Ryan said: “We’ve worked really hard to avoid redundancies. That’s why we’re putting so much emphasis on the flexible working scheme.”

A handful of partners are expected to put themselves forward for sabbaticals, but the majority will not be included in the initiative.

Of the staff consulted so far, 98 per cent have agreed to sign up to flexible working. The remaining employees will be asked to take part over the next two weeks.