Rays of sunshine?

Rays of sunshine?Lovells’ announcement today that it is to chop up to 94 jobs in London is particularly bad news for non-fee-earning staff. Only 18 lawyers out of the 94 are at risk, and they are likely to come from the corporate and real estate departments (see story).

Unusually, and unlike a number of other firms undergoing the same process, Lovells has stated which areas will not be affected. No prizes for guessing which: litigation, insolvency, IP and pensions.

This may be some canny news management on the firm’s part, but there’s an interesting backstory here too. It’s clear that Lovells’ investment in building a global intellectual property business is not only something which differentiates it from many of its peers, but that it is definitively counter-cyclical.

Look at Bird & Bird’s enormous growth over the past five years, which has been propelled largely by its IP brand. Ditto Field Fisher Waterhouse; it has made 42 redundancies in total, but none in its marquee IP practice.

And if you’re searching for some more rays of sunshine, then look at Mills & Reeve. As we reported on Monday, a number of its staff volunteered to work a four-day week to avoid job losses in their groups (see story).

What a refreshing contrast to its rivals.