When it came to redundancies in the legal sector it was always going to be a case of when as opposed to if. So it didnt come as a massive shock when news reached us of significant job losses at US law firm Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft. As reported yesterday Cadwalader is laying of 96 lawyers across its offices in the US and UK.
And for the first time the US firms London office is affected, with a significant number of the 96 based in Cadwaladers City office. The cuts will inevitably raise a question about the long-term future of Cadwaladers London presence.
Elsewhere, New York is understood to be the hardest hit office followed by Charlotte and Washington DC.
The cuts are all being made in Cadwaladers capital markets and global finance groups. In a statement, Cadwalader blamed the continuing very significant slowdown in the real estate finance and securitisation markets, which began a year ago. With CMBS issuance down 82 per cent in 2008, it appears that the real estate finance and securitisation businesses will remain slow for the foreseeable future, the firm added.
In January, Cadwalader laid off 35 lawyers across its US offices, with the firm then blaming unexpected and persistent volatility in sectors of the financial markets that had affected the capital markets.
Meanwhile, Newcastle-based Muckle has entered redundancy talks with up to 20 of its staff. The affected staff members are understood to include business support employees and some fee-earners, mostly across the commercial group and the property services groups.
The move comes just weeks after rival Dickinson Dees, the biggest law firm in Newcastle, announced mass redundancies in three of the four departments in its volume businesses.