Page last updated at 17:47 GMT, Friday, 24 July 2009 18:47 UK

Pay cut at major law firm backed

Dundas and Wilson website
Staff at the law firm gave the pay cut backing to help save jobs

Scotland's biggest law firm has had overwhelming support from its staff for a proposed pay cut.

The 10% salary reduction at Dundas and Wilson is to take effect for eight months, from September to next April.

The 530 employees in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London offices will also be able to take 18 days of extra leave.

They were told the alternative to the pay cut was to require redundancies. Of the seven in 10 who voted, 98% preferred the pay cut.

The firm has already seen 43 jobs axed as a result of the economic downturn.

This action is necessary to protect jobs and the talent we have built up
Alan Campbell
Managing partner

According to senior partners, the problems from reduced workload are continuing, requiring them to re-balance income with costs.

That is particularly the case in corporate work, such as mergers and acquisitions.

But there are signs that sort of legal work is coming back into the pipeline, giving some reassurance that work will pick up next April, with the start of the firm's new financial year.

Insolvency work remains strong, and staff working in such busy departments may not be affected by the reduced hours and pay.

The 82 partners at Dundas and Wilson have already agreed to take a 10% cut in their salaries, while their share of profits from last financial year fell by a fifth, or nearly £80,000.

According to Alan Campbell, the managing partner: "This action is necessary to protect jobs and the talent we have built up, while transactional activity remains depressed by the current economic situation.

"We have to balance revenue against expense but this was very much our preferred course of action and 98% of staff who responded to the consultation agreed."

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