Macfarlanes ;is reviewing the performance of its lawyers amid difficult conditions for its core corporate and real estate practices.
The firm holds performance appraisals every March and September, but managing partner Simon Martin admitted that the crisis in the markets had affected the current review.
He said: “When there’s less work there’s less scope to say [to associates], ‘We hope there’s an opportunity to move up to the next stage’. One or two will have received messages they found not particularly palatable.”
It is understood that up to 10 members of staff could leave the firm, having been ;told ;they ;were unlikely to make partner, although Martin denied that this was part of a redundancy drive.
“We can’t ignore what’s happening in the markets, but we have to take a longer term view,” he said. “We don’t act in the way that investment banks do – the hire and fire culture.”