Pinsents prefers secondments to layoffs

Pinsent Masons has ­seconded 25 lawyers in areas affected by the downturn into busier practice groups and offices rather than making redundancies.

Meanwhile, revenue at the firm is up by 7 per cent on this time last year.

Managing partner David Ryan said: “We haven’t ­discussed making redundancies. Using resources flexibly is the key to that.”

He added that selected lawyers are moving abroad on a voluntary basis. “I’m very interested in using the resources of the firm flexibly. I’m interested in people being seconded to Dubai and Asia,” said Ryan. “The more junior the lawyer, the easier it is.”

While not ruling out redundancies entirely, Ryan added: “The challenge over the next few years is how well firms stick to the people agenda.”

Growth at Pinsents has been strongest in litigation and in the outsourcing, technology and commercial department, which both grew by 30 per cent in September. Last year international offices contributed 15 per cent to the total revenue.

Denton Wilde Sapte has also not yet made any redundancies and said it would look to relocate staff internally before doing so.

Chairman ;Howard ­Morris said: “I can’t believe any decent firm would look towards redundancies as a first choice.

“We believe we’re in the right market. Even if growth declines there will still
be growth. But there is ­uncertainty in the market and no firm is immune.”

Like Pinsents, Dentons has a large energy and infrastructure practice and a significant emerging markets focus. International offices contributed 20 per cent to the firm’s revenue last year.