Osborne Clarke puts 13 senior fee earners on redundancy consultation

Osborne Clarke today (15 May) entered into a two week consultation programme with a view to cutting 13 senior associates.

Simon Beswick
Simon Beswick

The firm refused to specify which areas would be affected by the consultation, adding that the redundancies would potentially be spread across the firm’s practice areas and its three UK offices.

Managing partner Simon Beswick said the firm was adjusting to demand for greater costs control by having fewer senior resources involved with client matters.

Beswick said: “We’ve found for some time that clients’ need for greater value has meant that their preference on many matters is to have partners supported by junior resource. That demand has changed over a period of time, and we’ve ended up with a structural issue – we have too much senior resource.

“We hoped it would work itself out as people naturally moved on to take their careers in different directions, but this economic environment that’s not been the case. We felt we needed to address this now to make us more efficient going into the next period.”

Osborne Clarke is also likely to see disruption within its partnership ranks, which Beswick says have small pockets of overcapacity. The firm has “taken steps to address that situation.”

The announcement follows news that one staff member would be made redundant in the wake of the firm’s move away from outsourcer Integreon (2 May 2013). The firm’s last raft of redundancies was in November 2010, when it cut five relatively senior members of its real estate department (18 November 2010).

This year the firm made up three new partners in its first UK promos round since 2011. Five lawyers were promoted in the Osborne Clarke’s European offices (3 May 2013).

It comes as Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) yesterday (14 May) announced plans to make a raft of redundancies with the aim of reducing salary costs by 15 per cent (14 May 2013).

Wragge & Co, meanwhile, last week told up to 30 full-time equivalent support staff at risk of being made redundant in London and Birmingham (8 May 2013).