OC, Reed Smith and Travers slash jobs as redundancies gather pace

Osborne Clarke, Reed Smith and Travers Smith are the latest casualties to be hit by the redundancy bloodbath cutting through the legal sector, after announcing a series of job cuts.

The news comes as exclusive research carried out by Lawyer 2B’s sister website TheLawyer.com puts the latest job loss tally in the UKs top 200 firms at 1,235.

Bristol headquartered firm Osborne Clarke said that it is to make eight fee earners and one member of support staff redundant earlier this week, with cuts being made in its corporate and real estate practices.

But managing partner Simon Beswick tried to remain positive about the losses despite the firm suffering a five per cent dip in revenues to 44.2m from 46.4m at the half-year point.

He said: ”Although it’s difficult to predict how the market will play out during 2009, we believe these actions coupled with ongoing work to improve our working practices will help us face the demands of this economic downturn with confidence.”

Travers has also suffered a severe blow from the slump in the property market and announced earlier this week that it will be making job cuts in its real estate and corporate groups – shedding four associates from its ranks.

International law firm Reed Smith, meanwhile, has launched a redundancy consultation at its City arm with 11 of its associate jobs under threat.

In a statement the firm said: “Many leading international law firms and other businesses are engaged in similar actions during the downturn, and these steps are fundamental to being a financially sound business that is intent on remaining strong for the future.”