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EY Law in France is planning on making up to 80 lawyers redundant, slicing its size by almost 20%, as the firm wrestles with tough curbs on the work it can do for its accounting parent’s audit clients.The plan, one of the largest culls in recent years at a European law firm, would see the firm introduce a voluntary redundancy scheme that aims to shed 80 of the firm’s 600 lawyers.The decision has been put down to the new management the firm brought in this year. The cutbacks are expected to mainly come from the firm’s 270-lawyer corporate practice. The programme comes as EY Law, which took the bulk of the legacy Andersen Legal in 2002 following its collapse after the Enron scandal, struggles to adjust to tough new legislation governing audit standards. The move is seen as a direct response to the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the local Loi de Securite Financiere, which was implemented last year, which prevents the legal arms of accountancy giants from advising the audit clients of their big four parents. Most of the local legal practices have subsequently had to go through heavy restructuring to comply with the regulations.

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