Clifford Chance has accepted the voluntary redundancy of around 50 fee earners over and above the 80 lawyers facing compulsory redundancy.

While the formal redundancy process had only looked to cut 80 fee-earners, lawyers were invited at the same time to come forward to discuss voluntary redundancies if they were interested.

A memo sent out by the firm’s HR manager Helen Anthony in January (, 8 January ), one day after redundancies were announced internally, read: “What if I want to volunteer for redundancy?

“Options such as this will be looked at as part of the consultation process. If in the meantime you wish to discuss your individual circumstances please contact your practice area HR manager.”

It is understood that any voluntary redundancies will not affect the total number of compulsory redundancies being made.

The number of the voluntary redundancies will mean that Clifford Chance will reduce its London associate headcount by around 130, around 60 per cent more than originally announced.

The firm declined to comment.

As reported earlier this month, Clifford Chance is also set to dramatically scale back its partnership in a bid to become the world’s top international law firm (4 February).

Fellow magic circle firm Allen & Overy (A&O) yesterday announced a wide-ranging redundancy programme that will see up to 247 lawyers, including 47 partners, cut from its global ranks (The, 19 February).