New redundancy consultation puts 76 Eversheds jobs at risk

Eversheds has launched a second round of redundancy talks with 45 lawyers and related support staff, taking the total number of jobs under threat at the firm to at least 76.

Those ;affected ;are ­predominantly in the M&A, finance and insurance departments. Within the finance department the ­consultation is focused on real estate and acquisition finance.

Eversheds chief executive David Gray said: “While we have difficulties in real estate and transactional work, a lot of the cylinders of our business are firing strong.

“While regrettable, it’s important to put the ­proposed redundancies in context. We’ll continue to employ 1,300 lawyers in the UK alone. We’re also ­continuing to recruit in areas that are performing strongly, such as pensions, projects, antitrust and restructuring.”

The firm’s corporate head Peter Halpin added: “Most corporate teams were ­hoping there would be an improvement in the second quarter.

“However, ;with ;the ­banking crisis, it’s pretty clear that transactional activity is going to be depressed for some time. And with prices still falling, it’s difficult to agree deals.”

Gray commented: “We’re looking at opportunities for those affected, including redeployment internationally to offices in the Gulf.”

Eversheds made the ­decision in September 2008 to close its Norwich office and has now completed a redundancy consultation with 31 real estate lawyers affected nationwide.

That first consultation is ongoing, and to date four lawyers and two secretaries have been made redundant in the firm’s Newcastle office as a result.