Pinsents to launch redundancy talks

Pinsent Masons is looking to launch redundancy talks after announcing a turnover rise of 1 per cent in the last financial year.

The firm’s turnover rose from £213m in the 2007-08 financial year to £215m in 2008-09. Managing partner David Ryan (pictured) said that, while the firm has been taking measures to avoid job cuts, redundancies are now inevitable.

Ryan wrote to staff yesterday with a seven-point plan that laid out proposals for part-time working arrangements and sabbaticals, increasing staff deployment between offices, increasing client secondments, reducing costs, implementing a pay freeze and making job losses.

In six weeks’ time the firm will review how many jobs will need to be cut. Ryan was not able to confirm the anticipated total number, but confirmed that it would be “minimal” and based upon “a capacity rather than a costs perspective”.

Ryan said: “We’ve trialled part-time working and sabbaticals and several people have taken it up. Now everyone can take it up according to client and business needs. It could be short-term sabbaticals – even one week at the end of a transaction.”

The plan also includes elements that have already been implemented such as voluntary trainee deferrals, which were taken up by 26 per cent of future joiners (1 May 2009).

The firm’s annual 1 July pay review will be suspended for 12 months and newly-qualified lawyers starting in September 2009 will earn less money than the £64,000 currently offered to this year’s NQ group.

In terms of the firm’s financial results, Ryan highlighted particularly strong performance in outsourcing, technology and commercial and projects, but a more challenging year in certain areas of real estate and corporate. The firm has yet to announce a profit figure, although this is expected to be less than last year.

Ryan said: “We’re pleased with the results given that we had a tough last quarter. Profits will be reduced as a result of investment in Dubai, which has grown 50 per cent in revenue, a number of lateral hires and the upgrading of our IT systems.”