Pre-merger Howard Kennedy to cut 10 support staff roles

Howard Kennedy has put 10 support staff on redundancy consultation ahead of its planned merger with Finers Stephens Innocent (FSI).

Mark Dembovsky
Mark Dembovsky

The firm said the redundancies were a result of a review of the firm’s internal structure and were not triggered by the merger talks with FSI.

A statement read: “We’re continuously reviewing the structure of the firm and it’s important to stress that this is a standalone Howard Kennedy restructuring process and not related to the merger with Finers Stephens Innocent in any way.

“We’re aiming to make as minimal redundancies as possible with only 10 support roles at risk.”

It comes amid delays to the planned £45m merger between the two firms, which will now go ahead in February instead of November as initially planned (19 November 2012).

Earlier this month Howard Kennedy chief executive Mark Dembovsky told The Lawyer that there would be no large scale reduction of fee-earners and that delays to the merger process had come from issues with “back office alignment”, rather than people (5 November 2012).

Support staff were notified of the consultation yesterday. It is believed that there are currently no similar redundancies planned at FSI.

The merger is being led by Dembovsky and FSI managing partner Paul Millett (8 August 2012). The combined firm will have 351 staff including 88 partners and 125 fee-earners, and a total revenue of £45m, pushing it into the top 60 of The Lawyer UK 200.