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KWM has stopped paying some of its staff

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Affected include those on maternity leave

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King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) is refusing to comment on a report that it has stopped paying 100 members of staff as the firm prepares to go into administration.

According to a story in Legal Business Magazine this morning, the UK and European arm of KWM — which is £30 million in debt — notified employees of the decision not to pay them yesterday on their first day back after the Christmas break.

The unlucky 100 include some lawyers, but are mostly in business services. Some of them are currently on maternity leave, while others are off sick or taking holiday. It is understood that they were selected after an informal consultation. Those affected continue to be employed by the firm.

Responding to the report, KWM has issued this statement:

We do not comment on any matter concerning our people, whether individually or collectively, in order to protect their privacy.

Before Christmas Legal Cheek revealed news of a rescue operation being coordinated by a host of City law firms to take on KWM’s 60 trainees. Magic circle pair Linklaters and Allen & Overy have both gone public with pledges of support to the unfortunate rookies.

KWM confirmed its intention to seek administration in a court filing made last month.