Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has confirmed that it has cut 102 jobs that were placed under review in May, with 58 legal staff and 44 secretarial jobs being lost.
Of those laid off, 84% took voluntary redundancy, reflecting relatively generous severance terms on offer. The redundancy review was announced on 14 May and lasted for 45 days.
The redundancy programme also included a number of additional business service roles although the 735-lawyer firm could not confirm the number affected. It said that a targeted 15% reduction in salary costs was achieved.
This year has seen a string of UK law firms announce sizeable job cuts including DLA Piper, Eversheds and Osborne Clarke. In addition, Weil Gotshal & Manges confirmed last week it was to cut around 170 staff in the first substantive package of job cuts seen this year from a major New York practice.
However, BLP’s cuts are among the deepest and have been met by surprise given the firm’s record over the last decade as one of the most successful players in the UK mid-tier. Though the top 20 UK law firm is yet to confirm its 2012/13 results, it is expected to announce that partner profits have fallen by over 35% against a broadly flat turnover. Rivals have blamed tough market conditions in its core real estate practice and over-expansion for its current woes.
Despite the run of job cuts, the last two weeks have seen a host of major UK firms unveil rises in income and profitability for the 2012/13 financial year.