Asia-headquartered global firm King & Wood Mallesons is cutting 15% of partners in its Europe and Middle East practice as part of a restructuring.

The cut will mean that up to 24 of the firm’s 160 partners will depart. An additional 45 business services roles in London will also be axed but associate, paralegal and trainee jobs will not be affected.

The cuts follow a review of the firm’s European and Middle East practice, as part of its drive to become ‘the global elite firm for the next century’.

The review concluded that KWM should streamline its 17 practice areas into three divisions – corporate finance and funds, dispute resolution and regulation, and real estate. The three teams will be headed respectively by Tim Bednall, Tom Usher and William Naunton.

It will also focus its partners on clients and practices where the firm 'excels'.

The firm said that the decision to restructure the business ‘has not been taken lightly but is one that is essential for the firm’s long-term success’.

International firm SJ Berwin merged in 2013 with Australian-Chinese giant King & Wood Mallesons to create a firm with combined turnover of $1bn (£700m).

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