International firm lays off London lawyers

updated on 15 June 2020

Reed Smith has revealed plans to make redundancies at its London office, referencing the “prolonged economic uncertainty” caused by the pandemic.

Pay cuts, shorter weeks and furloughing will also be implemented.

The “targeted redundancy process” has begun in its London office and will affect a “small number” of lawyers and business staff. The international firm has also announced compensations reductions of 14% for fixed share partners, 12.5% for counsel and 12% for associates.

A four-day week has been introduced for most professional assistants, who will also take an equivalent cut in pay, and professional staff earning more than £100,000 will experience a salary cut of 6% on an annualised basis. Meanwhile, other employees will be furloughed.

Reed Smith’s global managing partner Sandy Thomas said: “Since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic, our priorities have always been to protect the health and wellbeing of our people, to safeguard jobs wherever possible, to provide the highest quality service to our clients, and to manage the firm prudently.

“As a result of the prolonged economic uncertainty caused by covid-19, we have made the difficult decision to take further actions to ensure our business emerges from the pandemic in a position of strength.”

Most of the measures are expected to be temporary, according to the firm.