City support staff hit as Edwards Wildman makes firmwide cuts

Edwards Wildman Palmer has cut eight support roles from its London office following a firmwide review of costs that has so far seen 35 support jobs go. 

The redundancy consultation, ongoing at the time of writing, was kicked off in May and has so far only impacted support roles. An insider at the firm stressed that no redundancies were in the pipeline for the firm’s lawyers. 

Further redundancies are expected at the firm, but sources said the number would be minimal.

In a statement the Edwards Wildman responded: “To meet their clients’ expectations for cost-efficient services, successful law firms today must monitor costs closely. Technology advances and related business production methods have reduced the need for as much support staff and services.

“Having undertaken a careful review of our business in London, in May we began a redundancy consultation process with a small number of individuals in support roles in London.”

Edwards Wildman Palmer was formed on 1 October 2011 by the merger of Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge and 150-lawyer Chicago firm Wildman Harrold Allen & Dixon (15 August 2011). In 2012, the firm posted its first post-merger financial results, revealing an 18 per cent increase in total revenue from $297.9m to $352.7m in 2011.

At the London end of the business, 2011 saw a string of laterals join the firm, further adding to the top line. UK revenue stood at £25m in 2011, up 35 per cent from £18.5m in 2010.

However average profit per equity partner at the US firm remained flat that year, with the firm blaming merger integration costs.