PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS (PwC) Legal has confirmed it has made “a number of positions” redundant.
The legal arm of PWC was quick to deny reports that 20 people had been made redundant from the commercial litigation area, but would not confirm exactly how many had been removed, nor from what area.
There had been a process of “comprehensive analysis and examination of [the] business”, PwC Legal told Lawyers Weekly.
“PwC Legal has been forced to take the tough decision to make redundant a number of positions.”
The decision would ensure the business was positioned for success in FY05, the firm said.
PwC claims it remains “totally committed to maintaining its association with PwC Legal, which retains a significant presence in Australia, focused on business law”.
The redundancies follow a move earlier this year to sell 20 per cent of the legal arm to Hunt & Hunt, as well as the transferral of two partners, one special counsel, four senior associates and three other lawyers to Maddocks.
At the time, PwC Legal rejected claims that this was a result of audit-independence concerns. Additionally, it was “absolutely not an indication of things to come”, it said.
PwC tax and legal chief Paul Koenig told Lawyers Weekly: “we are not exiting the legal market, we are now embarking on a growth path in our business”.
In November last year, the legal arm condemned a move by multidisciplinary rival KPMG to stop providing legal services as an overreaction to audit-independence concerns. Then, Koenig suggested that the rival had possibly jumped the gun, and he was quick to hose down suggestions that PwC Legal would follow a similar fate.
Amidst the fallout, PwC Legal claimed the MPD model worked for them, and it told Lawyers Weekly that it saw enormous opportunities “for going to market as the only legal firm affiliated with a large professional services firm”.