Page last updated at 11:03 GMT, Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Solicitors firm set to cut jobs

Thorntons has offices in Dundee, Perth, Arbroath, Forfar and Edinburgh

One of Tayside's leading legal firms is set to cut between 40 and 50 jobs.

Thorntons has 32 partners and more than 350 staff at offices in Dundee, Perth, Arbroath, Forfar and Edinburgh.

The cuts were announced following a review, begun in October, which considered how to ensure the company survived the current economic downturn.

Compulsory redundancies may be necessary and bosses at the solicitors have asked for volunteers to reduce working hours or take career breaks.

All areas of the firm will potentially be affected by the cuts.

'Last resort'

Nick Barclay, managing partner at Thorntons, said: "During the past six months, in common with most businesses, we have encountered unprecedented market conditions which have led to us facing significant challenges.

"We have endeavoured to keep staff fully advised on the situation and have adopted a very cautious and prudent approach to the management of our business, including freezing recruitment, reduction in overtime and staff voluntarily reducing hours, while strict cost controls and financial protocols have been put in place.

"However, following the review which commenced in October and with business at its current level, it will, very regrettably, become necessary for us to make redundancies to ensure the future success of the firm.

"This is very much a last resort and we thank our staff for their tremendous support throughout these difficult times."

Consultation with staff is likely to last until mid-February and then a final decision on job losses will be made.

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