Welsh insurance and property firm Palser Grossman has brought in management consultants to examine its business and is making nearly half of its 75 lawyers, including five salaried partners, redundant and asking them to reapply for new jobs.
The move follows the departure of former senior partner Howard Palser in July this year. In the past 18 months, two other equity partners have left the firm.
The shake-up affects 36 lawyers from the personal injury (PI) department and is part of a wholesale rejig of the firm's business, which may also involve a restructuring of pay packages.
Litigation head Richard Crane confirmed that the move affected the whole PI department. "At the moment we're examining whether people are being paid on competitive market rates," he said. "But some may apply for jobs that are in effect a promotion. We're asking the 36 lawyers to apply for a total of 44 jobs. Some people will choose not to reapply, but if they do the jobs are there," he said.
The move is not a response to low profits per equity partner at the firm, which is believed to have just two equity partners out of 19.
In January 2002, the then senior partner Palser told The Lawyer that profits per equity partner were in the region of £500,000 (The Lawyer, 21 January 2002).