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Mergers put lawyer jobs at risk as Pinsent Masons announce second round of redundancies

Posted by: Laurence Simons 09/11/12

'Dead wood' is an odd phrase, isn't it? Because surely all wood is dead. Once you cut a slice of plank out of a living tree, it ceases to be tree, merely material that is set to be made into a table. Some wood is more preferable to other woods, but it isn't more dead. It doesn't make sense. It simply doesn't make sense.

Anyway, on an entirely unrelated note, Magic Circle giant Pinsent Masons has just begun its second round of post-merger redundancies, after job cuts in the summer saw 47 staff members leave.

Earlier this year, Pinsent Masons merged with McGrigors, because merging with another firm is about as representative to the year 2012 as that Gangnam Style video. However, so with pros, must come cons, and job duplications caused by the merger led to a round of redundancies in the business development, HR and facilities staff departments in August this year. Now it's November and time for Reundancies Round Two: Electric Boogaloo.

"In June the firm began an exercise to review existing support structures in light of its merger and consider what changes would be needed to provide the most effective level of support to the combined business," said a presumably safe Pinsent Masons spokesperson.

"As anticipated, duplicate roles were identified within our support teams and a number of people left the firm. We're now about to conduct the second phase of this process and expect around 15 support roles to be at risk. We're consulting with those affected and anticipate that this will be complete in December." Merry Christmas.

As RollonFriday reports, the second round of cuts is thought to be the last of the post-merger mop up, with further jobs within the newly merged firm expected to be created as a result of team restructurings along the way. But the double-dip job cuts does go some way to highlighting a possible collateral cost that comes with merging with another firm, one that must be weighed up against the inevitable Global 100 ranking boost.

Especially with the news that more mergers could be on the horizon. Yesterday (November 8th), it was announced that SNR Denton was planning a three-way deal with Canadian law firm Fraser Milner Casgrain (FMC) and Paris-based firm Salans to merge together, effective from early next year. The combined turnover of the three firms is expected to put the newly-formed merger up in the Top 20 listings of firms worldwide, but with three houses coming together, the move could result in more rounds of redundancies across the multi-national.