CMS to cut associate roles

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By Bradley Fountain-Green on


Redundancies in corporate team

CMS is entering a redundancy consultation in its UK corporate team.

Apparently 19 associate roles are at risk of being axed, according to The Lawyer (£), as market conditions have led to reduced demand for corporate and transactional services. Legal Cheek has been in touch with CMS and the firm is not confirming or denying these numbers.

Nor has the firm confirmed which offices will be affected.

CMS offers 95 training contracts annually across the UK, with a first-year trainee salary of £50,000 in London and £28,000-£43,0000 in the regions. This rises to £55,000 in year two for London trainees, and between £31,000-£45,000 for those in the regions.

NQs across both London and the regions have enjoyed a recent 5% salary increase, with those in the capital now taking home £105,000 and regional NQs sitting on anywhere between £60,000-£68,000, depending on the location.

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CMS’s UK profits have dipped slightly in the past year by 3.7%, after strong growth in previous years. Profit per equity partner has followed a similar trajectory, falling 6% in 2023, after passing the £1 million mark for the first time in the firm’s history the year prior.

CMS joins both Reed Smith, who cut their global workforce by 50, and Orrick who reduced staff numbers by 6%, due to a reduced demand for legal services earlier this year.



Well then.


Part of the bargain for accepting salaries to work at a UK firm was that they’d be more resilient to depressions and focus more on retooling / using downtime to prepare standard forms and precedent banks (Freshfields did that very well in the immediate few months’s freeze on billable work during Covid) rather than engaging in the hire and fire practices imported from the US. Sadly that difference seems to have eroded more generally.


Given the country will have an electoral choice between crazed Brexit fundamentalists intent on destroying the economy or crazed socialists in Blairite clothing who are too scared to point out Brexit is a disaster and who are intent on destroying the economy, slimming down the offering is sensible before the real economic woes kick in.


The votes indicate a strong denial as to the mid term macroeconomic prospects for the UK.


Strange that an article about retrenchments of fee earners receives so few comments when every article about increases in PQE salaries rack up plenty…


Is LC not going to report that Linklaters is laying off 30 people in Asia, including Hong Kong? It’s in all the mainstream legal press

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