DLA: 140 more jobs to go, trainees asked to defer

DLA: 140 more jobs to go, trainees asked to deferDLA Piper has launched a fresh redundancy consultation which will see the loss of 30 lawyers and 110 support staff in the UK.

An internal email announcement, seen by The Lawyer, told staff: “There has been a downturn in economic activity since we last reviewed resource and when we budgeted for our 2009 business year. We expect the current market conditions to continue for some time.

“As part of our response to the current business environment and after considerable thought, we are unfortunately, proposing a number of redundancies, which will affect lawyer and support staff communities.”

No trainees will be affected, although the firm is inviting a number of those due to start in 2009 to defer their start dates until 2010.

Those affected by the consultation would be contacted shortly about specific details, the announcement said.

The news follows the completion of December’s redundancy consultation, which led to the loss of 31 jobs across the UK (2 Dec 2008).

The December review led to the loss of 15 fee-earning lawyers and 16 support staff in practice groups linked to real estate and finance.

In addition, five technology, media and communication lawyers were made redundant in August, including an associate, a legal director and three assistants.

The latest consultation was announced in an email to staff from UK regional managing partner David Bradley, who ended the message: “At this time can I ask that we keep at the forefront of our minds, the need to be considerate, understanding and respectful of each other.”

In a statement sent to The Lawyer this afternoon Sir Nigel Knowles, joint CEO at DLA Piper, said: “Having carefully considered current volumes of business activity and the predicted impact of the ongoing downturn we are conducting a formal redundancy consultation process in the UK which is likely to result in up to 140 redundancies. This is a difficult but necessary decision based on our reassessment of resource levels following the continuing deterioration of the market. This prudent action will align our capacity levels with existing client demands.”

For more on redundancies and job prospects, see our Legal Job Watch page.

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