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CITY and Home Counties firm Penningtons has been rocked by a series of high level resignations with eight partners quitting shortly before Easter.
The resignations came as speculation intensified that Penningtons was poised to axe jobs as part of a radical restructuring programme.
Managing partner David Stedman said: "We are undertaking a review of our cost base which may or may not result in redundancies. Our objective is to increase profitability."
One of the firm's largest overheads is the rent on Dashwood House, which was badly damaged by an IRA bomb in 1993. Recently, Penningtons gave up its eighth floor offices in the Dashwood House block.
Intellectual property expert Joe Cohen is among those who resigned voluntarily from Penningtons before the bank holiday weekend. He joins City firm Beveridge Ross & Prevezers.
A number of partners from the Newbury office have quit, including Rupert Wright. He is setting up a new IT practice with Paul Milton who left Penningtons a fortnight ago. Wright and Milton will be linking with IT specialist Marcus O'Leary at Milton's base in Berkshire.
Other Newbury partners who have gone or are going include Christopher Chidley, Helen Goss and associate Victoria Hopgood. London partners Tim Simon and Andrew Irvine are also leaving. The firm's Bournemouth office partners broke away last year and relaunched as a separate practice under the name Fynn & Partners.