Reed Smith has announced it is set to cut 45 lawyer roles from across its US, UK and Middle Eastern offices.
The restructuring will affect 2.5 per cent of the firm’s 1,650 lawyers as well as a “related number of staff”. According to the firm the restructuring was a result of a fundamental shift in the nature of the legal services market.
A Reed Smith spokesperson said: “Like all profitable businesses, Reed Smith must be attentive to market demand and industry changes and make necessary adjustments to remain competitive. For those reasons, the firm recently undertook a review of its staffing model to ensure the firm is sized and structured to provide clients with the highest quality legal services in the most efficient manner.”
The firm is providing those affected with severance pay and professional support to help them find work outside of Reed Smith.
Despite cutting staff Reed Smith has posted a revenue figure of over $1bn for the last four years. During the 2014 calendar year the firm saw revenue grow 7 per cent, from $1.075bn to $1.15bn (£746m). This revenue increase was also mirrored in Reed Smith’s UK LLP accounts, which saw turnover jump 11 per cent from £58.4m to £64.9m.
In the statement Reed Smith confirmed that it would carry on with its current strategy to focus on its five key industries. These are: financial services; life sciences and health; energy and natural resources; shipping; and entertainment and media.
In 2008 the firm announced it was cutting 11 associate jobs in London and 115 members of support staff. At the time an internal memo said Reed Smith was looking to lay off the 115 staff across its UK and US business.