BLM set to cut 21 Leeds jobs in redundancy consultation


Top 50 UK law firm BLM has launched a redundancy consultation that could see more than half of its positions in Leeds go.

Twenty-one lawyers and staff jobs could go as a result of the consultation, with the office headcount shrinking from 40 to 19.

All of those affected by the consultation will be offered the opportunity to apply for jobs elsewhere in the firm, which has 12 other offices spread across the UK.

The firm will then take on smaller premises in the city.

BLM senior partner Mike Brown said: “Earlier this year we embarked on a programme of business improvement, including a strategic review of our current workplaces. This has culminated in a proposal to align our Leeds operation with this strategic review, creating a paper-lite, lean office, modernising the way we work.

“Regrettably, if this proposal goes ahead, the decision will have an impact upon our current team in Leeds and we are working closely with those affected within that office.”

In August, BLM posted a 28% drop in profits per equity partner (PEP) for 2015-16, alongside a 3.5% increase in revenue.

The firm’s PEP for the year ending 31 March 2016 was £192,000, down from £265,000 in 2014-15. However, revenue increased by 3.5% from £104.1m to £107.7m.

The firm was also hit by a wave of resignations in its Southampton office earlier this year. Eight partners resigned from the firm, including its head of Southampton and Bristol, Michael Renshaw.

Other redundancies this year have included DLA Piper stating in September that it is to cut 175 support roles in the UK, following a three-month redundancy consultation that launched in May.

The firm announced it was putting 200 jobs at risk when it launched the redundancy consultation.

In August, Simmons & Simmons confirmed that it is making a number of lawyer redundancies in its London real estate practice.

It is understood that the firm laid off fewer than 10 lawyers in its real estate practice, with some of those affected also working cross-practice in finance.

The move was driven in part by the expected impact of Brexit on London’s real estate sector, as investors pull money out of commercial property.