Eversheds launches fresh redundancy talks

<a class=Eversheds launches fresh redundancy talks” class=”inline_image inline_image_left” src=”/pictures/web/images/14763_david-gray-eversheds.jpg” />Eversheds has launched a second round of redundancy talks with 45 lawyers and related support staff.

Those affected are predominantly in the M&A, finance and insurance departments. Those being consulted in finance are focused on real estate finance and acquisition finance.

David Gray, Eversheds chief executive said: “While we have difficulties in real estate and transational work, a lot of the cylinders of our business are firing strong.”

Gray added: “Whilst regrettable, it is important to put the proposed redundancies in context. We will continue to employ 1,300 lawyers in the UK alone. We are also continuing to recruit in areas that are performing strongly, such as pensions, projects, anti-trust and restructuring.”

The firm began considering redundancies in these departments during the summer, but decided to wait until the autumn before taking any decisions on the matter.

Head of corporate Peter Halpin said: “Looking at the CorpFin table, it shows quite clearly that after the first quarter the deal volume dropped significantly. Most corporate teams were hoping there’d be an improvement, however with the banking crisis its pretty clear transactional activity is going to be depressed for some time. And with prices still falling, its difficult to agree deals.”

Gray said: “We’re looking at opportunities for those affected, including redeployment internationally to offices in the Gulf.”

Eversheds made the decision in September 2008 (TheLawyer.com, 4 September 2008) to close its Norwich office and make 33 real estate lawyers and related support staff nationwide redundant. The consultation is ongoing and to date four lawyers and two secretaries have been made redundant in the firm’s Newcastle office as a result of that process.

With the launch of this latest consultation, 78 jobs are now under threat at Eversheds – the largest single number at any of the UK’s largest-grossing law firms. Including this latest consultation, since the start of the economic downturn 862 jobs have been brought under threat in the UK 200.

Eversheds’ competitor Wragge & Co. is in a redundancy consultation that is likely to affect 20 fee-earners in its property department. While DLA Piper has made five redundant in the technology, media and communications group (TheLawyer.com, 4 August 2008).