Osborne Clarke staff cull continues

Osborne Clarke’s Bristol office will be worst hit by a compulsory redundancy programme voted in by the partnership this week. London will also be trimmed in the review of support staffing levels, while the Thames Valley will be least affected.
Around 40 jobs are likely to be cut as part of the ongoing battle to make the firm more profitable despite the corporate and technology malaise. The losses are expected to comprise ten secretaries, with the rest made up of staff in areas such as IT and infrastructure support, human resources and marketing. The majority of Osborne Clarke’s support staff are Bristol-based.
Osborne Clarke’s management presented a range of options to the partnership on Monday, including fee earner cuts. But managing partner Leslie Perrin said: “We’ve made a decision to hold on fee earners because we’re experiencing, in general terms, better levels of activity.”
Perrin said average profits per partner would not fall below last year’s £270,000. He added: “Quite a lot of our support projects have come to an end and the requirement for support has become materially less as a result.”
Previous cuts have fallen on the firm’s London arm, where four partners and five assistants were laid off last year. Perrin said: “We are growing London’s business, although it sometimes doesn’t look like it. We are utterly committed to London. The location of any part of our business is almost irrelevant…but there is a strategy for developing international business which we definitely couldn’t do without our London office.”