As first revealed on www.thelawyer.com/lawyer news, the corporate and technology, media and telecoms departments will be worst affected, although the cuts will happen almost across the board. The only groups unaffected are dispute resolution, employment and competition.
The maximum number of lawyers in any one department to be cut is eight.
The firm is now entering the consultation process with staff, and redeployment may be a possibility for some. “There’ll be a lot of alternatives that will come out during the consultation period,” said director of personnel David Fowler, adding that some staff may be placed in other offices.
“We’re taking this step because we do have some surplus capacity,” chief executive Virginia Glastonbury said. “It’s regrettable, but it’s a step we do have to take.”
So far the review has focused purely on London.
With the September influx of trainees and newly-qualifieds taken into account, the average fee-earner head count in London will be reduced by between 20 and 25.