Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) is bracing itself for a string of redundancies as it emerges that the firm is in consultation with four lawyers in the public and regulatory group and has terminated the contracts of several fee-earners in the team.
The firm confirmed it was in consultation with two solicitors, one associate and one senior associate, with the three-to-four week consultation period starting on Tuesday (22 November). It said three of the redundancies were in London and one in Manchester.
FFW said it had also ended the fixed-term contracts of a number of lawyers and paralegals who were brought in earlier in the year to work on a public-sector client account that had produced a backlog of fitness-to-practice work.
Legal website RollonFriday said 13 solicitors and paralegals employed on this basis were expected to be made redundant. FFW said 10 paralegals and three solicitors had seen their fixed-term contract come to an end and said it may redeploy some of these elsewhere in the firm. A further four paralegals hired for this project have already been found jobs in the firm.
“The completion of this backlog has resulted in those contracts coming to an end, although we have managed to redeploy a number of them to opportunities across the firm,” FFW said in a statement.
FFW managing partner Matthew Lohn said in a statement: “The public regulatory market is changing rapidly, with pressure on the public sector resulting in far more work being brought in-house. We are also seeing the work that does go out to tender becoming increasingly price sensitive.”
Lohn took over from Moira Gilmour as managing partner last month (24 October 2011).