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Linklaters’ New World Has Up to 270 Fewer Associates and Staffers

Posted Jan 29, 2009 8:23 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Up to 120 associates and 150 support staffers in Linklaters’ London office are facing the prospect of lost jobs in a program reportedly dubbed Linklaters New World.

The law firm announced today it would begin a 90-day redundancy consultation, report the Associated Press and Bloomberg. The consultation is expected to lead to the layoffs of 100 to 120 lawyers and 130 to 150 support staffers.

Partners could also be affected, according to Times Online. “The Times understands that a number of partners will also be asked to leave the firm as part of the restructuring, although the firm declined to comment on partner departures,” its story says. The Lawyer reported last week that as many as 70 partners could be asked to leave.

Linklaters managing partner Simon Davies said the firm was acting now to reduce its headcount to meet anticipated demand. “It is vital that the firm is in the best shape to meet the challenges which lie ahead," he said.

But the Lawyer reported Linklaters had intentionally jettisoned clients beginning last year in an effort to make the firm smaller and more profitable. The idea was to reduce client conflicts so the firm could represent larger global entities. “At the time it was understood that the firm had trimmed its client base from 11,000 to 6,000, with the expectation that the list will number 3,000 by the time the scheme ends,” the story says.

Linklaters’ revenues make it the second-largest law firm in London. Last April it had 2,644 lawyers in offices in 27 countries.

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