Halliwells has launched a redundancy consultation with 10 banking and corporate fee-earners, citing a fall in deal flow and overcapacity as the cause.
It is understood that some of those affected may be redeployed to other departments in the firm.
A spokesperson said: “We have the largest corporate team in the North West. However, with deal flow not at previous levels it makes sense where possible to re-deploy some of our lawyers to other busier departments within the firm.
He added: “We have more vacant positions within other departments than we have overcapacity of lawyers in corporate and banking. It makes common sense to make these opportunities available to corporate and banking lawyers who are not currently at full capacity.”
The consultation with banking and corporate lawyers follows on from the completion of a redundancy consultation with 40 members of the real estate department (TheLawyer.com, 24 September).
At the end of that consultation, 26 members of staff lost their jobs. Out of that total, six were allocated new jobs in other departments and 20 left the firm. With 12 having lost their jobs in March of this year this puts the potential number of redundancies at the firm at 48.
According to Halliwells, the consultation in the banking and corporate department comes after a record first quarter for that practice group in which 67 deals with an aggregate value of £2.1bn were completed.
The spokesperson added: “While the economic downturn is clearly having an impact on some aspects of our business, other parts are performing extremely well and the firm is ahead of budget for the year to date and ahead of last year.”
This comes as partner Matthew Puhar, who heads the corporate practice in London, leaves the firm. Puhar was not made redundant, but left for personal reasons, according to Halliwells.
Ian Brent has taken over the running of the London corporate department. He is the third person to head the firm’s London corporate team in less than a year after Julian Lewis left for Fladgate Fielder in February to be replaced by Puhar (TheLawyer.com, 27 February).
Puhar was unavailable for comment.