Currie & Brown has become the latest consultant to lay off staff in the Middle East as the region continues to be hit by the downturn.

Some of the firm’s schemes have been put on hold, and there is also understood to have been a drop in workload over the past year, with the firm losing out on several key projects. The group has cut 18 jobs in its Dubai office – 15% of staff.

Infinity Tower
Currie & Brown is project manager on the Infinity Tower

One company source said some employees who have been made redundant had only arrived in the UAE two months before losing their jobs and were tied into rent agreements with no income.

A former employee based in Dubai said: “I have a window of about two more weeks in which I can still afford to pay. If I don’t find another job by then, I will have to flee the country as a fugitive.”

Meanwhile, a dispute with insurers that threatened to tip two of its dormant subsidiaries into liquidation is understood to have been settled in the consultant’s favour.

The settlement is significant as the two firms, Currie & Brown Project Management and Currie & Brown Consulting, are embroiled in a £54m lawsuit with Port Neath council over problems with a PFI incinerator. It was feared the case could bring the firms to their knees without protection from their insurers.