Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

Newcastle law firm sheds jobs

Newcastle law firm Watson Burton is cutting 75 staff as it battles the economic downturn.

The firm, which employs about 320 people in the region, said it was being forced to take action to secure the short-term future of the business. The cuts will undo four years of growth in its workforce and will affect staff at its offices in Newcastle, Leeds and London.

The firm had already made 10 redundant at the end of last year and said at the time it was “confident” there would be no further job losses.

There is no indication of how many jobs will be lost in Newcastle or how the cuts will be split among its backroom staff and fee-earning solicitors, of whom there are about 80.

The firm, which said it was not planning to close any offices, highlighted property and some of its corporate markets as areas that had seen a significant drop in cases. It expected income to be down on last year as a result.

Senior partner Rob Langley said: “We are taking such robust action as we don’t want to say that there will be no more job losses, only to announce that we are doing this again three months down the line. The recession has got markedly worse over recent months and we have had to respond to market forces. These regrettable cuts will allow us to continue to remain appropriately resourced for the future.”

The firm has seen a pickup in other areas of its work, with the economic situation leading to an increase in dispute resolution and corporate recovery cases.

Mr Langley said: “We remain positive about the business, despite having to take this action. There is still work out there and we are seeing some growth in certain areas of our operations.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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