Eversheds culls again

It’s beginning to look like commercial law firms alone could threaten Britain’s fragile recovery in employment – jobseeker numbers dropped from 7.8 per cent to 7.7 per cent in the three months to November 2012 – with more firms every week announcing redundancy consultations.

Following announcements from Lawrence Graham, CMS Cameron McKenna and Farrers, Eversheds has become the latest firm to place jobs under the axe.

Few firms received as much stick as Eversheds did last time it cut staff numbers. Check out our exclusive interview with CEO Bryan Hughes, which details the restructuring. Between 2008 and 2009, the firm shed 735 staff over four redundancy rounds, offering departing employees only the statutory minimum redundancy package. Morale at the firm was wrecked.

Hughes has done a lot to try to rebuild morale at Eversheds since then, and this is likely to be another almighty blow for the firm since he took over.

The current cuts will take place across the UK, Asia and Copenhagen. But in addition to being a response to the downturn, the redundancies also relate to the firm’s new three-year plan. In Asia in particular, the firm is making management changes to better align the offices there to the rest of the business, and Eversheds is looking to close its Copenhagen office altogether in response to tepid client demand.

Perhaps most importantly, Eversheds is offering staff who lose their jobs double the statutory minimum redundancy package. It looks like the firm has learned from past mistakes.

Want to hear what Hughes sounds like in person? Click here for our video interview.


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