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Knowles plans job cuts

Dispute specialist prepares staff for redundancies after praising 'marvellous team'

LEGAL and construction cost consultant James R Knowles is planning a round of New Year redundancies.

Staff at the firm's 16 UK offices were given the bad news last week following cost cuts at the company.

One shocked employee said: 'There are a lot of people affected by this and we have been told the losses will be across all offices.

'We were all called into a meeting today and told that jobs will go in January.

'It looks like most of the top brass are going to hang on to their jobs.

'It's the same old story that the workers get dumped on.

'It's not exactly the sort of Christmas present you want and has left everyone worried about their future.' A Knowles spokesman declined to comment on how many of the firm's 350 employees will be made redundant.

He said: 'I don't think a final decision has been taken on how many people will be going.

'There are appropriate legal procedures to follow and that is what we are doing.

'Companies do from time to time have to look at areas where savings can be made.' The job cuts came just weeks after a bullish set of pronouncements during the release of the firm's annual results.

The figures showed operating profits pre-exceptional items up 24 per cent to £773,000 while turnover dipped slightly to £30 million.

Chairman Roger Knowles said in his results statement: 'The prospects for the group have never been better. We can look forward with confidence to the current trading year.

'We have in place around the world a marvellous team of dedicated people.

'The success of any organisation such as ours depends upon the performance they are able to achieve, week in, week out. We have built up a team that is the envy of all our competitors.

'It is my confidence in this team that leads me to believe in the success that the group will achieve in the coming months and years.'