Eversheds set to cut up to 166 jobs in latest redundancy round

Eversheds has placed 166 jobs at risk of redundancy, including 82 fee earners, marking the firm’s sixth redundancy round since September 2008.

The firm is restructuring its UK real estate and company commercial practices due to the “anticipated volume of transactional activity in the medium term”, alongside the closure of its 29-strong Copenhagen office, with the moves set to result in significant job losses.

In total, the redundancy consultation, which has started today (24 January), is set to affect 166 around the world – 84 non-lawyers and 82 lawyers, including equity and non-equity partners – equating to around 6% of the firm’s total headcount.

The firm confirmed that those who do end up losing their jobs can expect an ‘enhanced’ redundancy package, understood to be double the statutory requirement.

The firm has also stated its commitment to redeploy and relocate staff, where possible, to other areas of the business, and is currently exploring opportunities with a potential relationship firm in Copenhagen, to which some staff may transfer.

The firm’s exit from Copenhagen comes after office head Troels Askerud resigned from the firm in 2010, prompting the firm to make 12 redundancies and reconsider the future of the base.

The news marks the sixth round of redundancies at the firm since September 2008, with the last round of cuts coming in August 2010, when up to 100 roles were placed under review as a result of the firm’s back office outsourcing deal with Accenture.

In a statement, chief executive Bryan Hughes said: “Having established a new, clear strategy for the firm, we are now implementing the management and operational changes that will turn our strategic objectives into a successful operational reality.

“The overall performance of the firm to date this year has been in line with our expectations, although there has been some variable performance across certain geographies and practice areas.

“Whilst we are always prepared to ride out cyclical issues, our view is that some markets in which we operate have undergone fundamental change rendering our current structure unsustainable, which, when taken together with our new strategy has led us to take the decisions announced today.”

As part of the changes, Asia managing partner Nick Seddon is leaving the firm and will be replaced on an interim basis by UK head Lee Ranson, who will be tasked with overseeing the launch of the firm’s Beijing office this year. It is unclear how long Ranson will be in Asia for while the firm selects a permanent holder for the local leadership post.

The news comes as DLA Piper today (24 January) confirmed that it will close its Glasgow office by the end of April, making approximately 45 members of staff redundant following a redundancy consultation launched at the end of November.

The firm also announced that it will go ahead with the planned centralisation of its firm’s 116-staff document production team to Leeds, as well as divesting its 50-strong defendant insurance arm to two separate firms.

For more, see DLA cuts 45 in Glasgow exit as firm agrees defendant insurance sell-off.