Midlands firm Shakespeares is making widespread redundancies of both support staff and lawyers in preparation for its merger with Harvey Ingram.

In all 54 staff are expected to lose their jobs, with the redundancies being announced just a few days after the firm's website trumpeted the excitement of the merger. Hooray. As reported in The Lawyer, three of Shakie's smallest offices will close, and the entire Harvey Ingram criminal legal aid department will vanish into an independent spun-out entity.

    All's not well that ends badly for Shakespeares' staff.

The merger of the two firms was confirmed back in July, with the completion date set for 1 October (although they're already "operating" as a merged firm). The merged firm would have nearly 800 staff, so the 54 will represent one in fifteen of the total.

Of course at the moment is merely a proposal, and no doubt there will no doubt be a genuine, balanced and thorough consultation process - which RollOnFriday would expect, based on previous experience, will result in every one of the 54 going. In a statement, the firm's chief exec said "necessary...consultation...potential opportunities...reshape the business...economies of scale...challenges...strategic fit" and other similar stuff.

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