The decision is part of a 'strategic restructure' in the region following a year of flat revenue in the UK. Though the scale-back won't result in any office closures, it is expected that the brunt of the cuts will be felt by partners in KWM's offices in London and Germany. An additional 45 positions are expected to be cut from the firm's 425-strong team of business support staff across the region.
The UK and EUME arm of KWM, which is primarily composed of of legacy SJ Berwin offices, has suffered considerable turbulence since that firm's 2013 tie-up with China-headquartered King & Wood Mallesons, including the closure of its Berlin office in May 2014. The firm's latest review of its headcount comes less than 12 months after the firm trimmed 10 per cent of its equity partnership in the same region.
The cuts also come following the February announcement of a change in strategic focus at KWM which will see the firm's 17 practice areas reorganised into just three—corporate finance and funds; dispute resolution and regulation; and real estate. 'After this restructure the firm will retain the capability and quality it needs to serve both regional and global clients,' said global managing partner Stuart Fuller of the strategic review and cuts, adding that the EUME partnership, which was told the news yesterday, recognised that the move was 'market driven.'