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North West firm Pannone is mulling redundancies in its construction, road traffic accident and family teams in Manchester, as up to 12 fee earners and support staff look set to lose their jobs when the firm closes two satellite offices.
Pannone is set to close its offices in Hale and Alderley Edge in Cheshire, which focus on residential conveyancing and family law services. According to the firm up to 12 posts, a mixture of fee earners and secretaries, will lose their jobs though there may be the opportunity for some to relocate to other offices.
Managing partner Emma Holt said that the decision to close the offices was part of the firm’s strategy to expand its London presence, which it plans to double in size in a bid to enhance the firm’s national profile.
As a result of the closures the firm has said there will be a consultation period across the whole of its family team, including in the Manchester office.
In addition to job losses related to the office closures, Pannone is in redundancy talks with what it describes as a small number of individuals in its construction and fast-track road traffic accident teams in Manchester, as the firm looks to realign the practices “in response to market forces”.
In April 2011 The Lawyer reported that Pannone’s longstanding relationship with the Co-operative was in doubt as the retailer looked to ramp up its legal services division (11 April 2011).
Profit at Pannone was down almost 13 per cent in 2010-11, from £7.8m to £6.8m, while average profit per equity partner was down 9.5 per cent, from £229,500 to £208,000.
In a statement, Holt said: “The decision to close the offices in Hale and Alderley Edge is based on our strategic plans to further enhance our national reputation across a wide range of disciplines and specialist niche areas. We believe that will be achieved by moving away from small local offices to expanding our presence in London.
“The closures will regrettably result in a number of redundancies across secretarial and fee-earning roles and we are working closely with the individuals concerned.”
Pannone opened its London office in June 2010 (1 July 2010). In December the firm hired Wilmer Hale corporate partner Catherine McLoughlin in London office (8 December 2011), while clinical negligence partner Julianne Moore will relocate to the capital.