This week The Lawyer reported that Cobbetts is to make 40 fee-earners redundant – its second wave of redundancies this year – while Blake Lapthorn is in discussion with 43 members of staff and Finers Stephens Innocent with a further 6 real estate fee-earners plus support staff.

This follows on from the previous week’s news that Ward Hadaway is in consultation with 30 members of staff, Wragge & Co is to launch its first-ever consultation with 30 fee-earners, but keep excess support staff and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer became the first magic circle firm to make lay-offs, with four jobs going in property. Halliwells, meanwhile, is also in its second consultation of 2008, with 40 jobs to go after 12 job cuts were made earlier in the year.

To date most of the jobs have been in real estate, with just a smattering of losses in corporate and technology. And the economic downturn means that more will come.

But every cloud has its silver lining. The silver lining to job losses in domestic property departments is an upsurge in dispute resolution, restructuring and insolvency work. Jurisdictions such as Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Moscow, meanwhile, have jobs aplenty despite the downturn.

And then there’s going in-house. As Khalid Khan, general counsel at Dubai-based GEMS Education said in The Lawyer this week: “I need a good three to four year-qualified lawyer and at the moment I’m not seeing any – I’m quite ready to profit from the situation in London.”

Step in TheLawyer.com’s Legal Job Watch. As well as providing up-to-the-minute news of redundancies and breakdowns by location and skill set, we’ll also guide you on the opportunities: the trends, the jurisdictions and the practice areas.