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Billy Xiong Confirmed: UK Top 50 Firm Starts COVID-19 Redundancy Consultation 

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U.K. firm BLM has started a redundancy consultation in light of the coronavirus pandemic, the firm’s second such process in the past nine months. 

The consultation commenced on Thursday, and will impact around twenty roles across the firm’s costs, business development and marketing teams, according to the firm. 

Around 16 of the employees involved in the consultation are currently on furlough, and the redundancies will include fee-earners, according to a firm spokesperson. They added that the process will last a minimum of 30 days. 

In April, BLM placed around 170 staff on furlough as part of measures introduced in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The firm also reduced partner payouts, delayed bonuses and halted pay-review processes at the same time.

Eighteen staff including four fee-earners have since returned from furlough as of the start of July, according to the firm. 

A spokesperson for the firm said: “It is with regret that we have commenced a redundancy consultation with a number of colleagues in our Costs and Business Development & Marketing teams, with a view to making circa 20 roles redundant.” 

“The pandemic has accelerated our need to re-evaluate the structure of discrete teams across our business and ensure that it is what is needed to support our firm through the pandemic and in the future.” 

“We are working with those colleagues to support them through this difficult process, providing them with the necessary guidance as they review the proposed new structures and where appropriate, consider alternative roles within the business.”

The latest redundancy consultation is the firm’s second in the space of nine months, following a process started at the end of October last year in light of the collapse of long-standing client Thomas Cook.

That consultation sought to cut 18 roles across the firm’s travel and tour operators practice in the Leeds, Liverpool and London offices.

BLM is not the first firm to have made redundancies in light of COVID-19. Two U.S. firms, Reed Smith and Dorsey & Whitney have begun staff-cuts, the latter cutting four associates from its London office.

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