10 per cent of fee-earners get chop at Jones Day Gouldens

Jones Day Gouldens is slashing 10 per cent of its fee-earning staff in London as it becomes the latest City firm to institute a redundancy programme.

The move, which was announced internally last Friday (23 May), will initially affect up to 25 associates and paralegals, but may be followed by a proportionate reduction in secretarial staff. Partners will not be affected.

Jones Day Gouldens’ London managing partner Russell Carmedy told The Lawyer: “No one likes doing this type of thing, but we thought we’d do it as a one-off, not as a drip-drip.” He said that the trainee intake would not be affected and that the number of trainees who will be offered jobs on qualification would be in line with the last few years. The Lawyer understands that seven out of 11 trainees will be offered posts with the firm.

Carmedy denied that the US management of the newly-merged firm was behind the move. He said: “I can honestly say they haven’t – not one jot. This is a decision initiated by London partners. There hasn’t been one iota of pressure from
the US.”

The news comes in the wake of what is understood to have been a disappointing financial year for Gouldens. In 2001-02 its average profits per equity partner dropped by 4.6 per cent on the previous year to £644,000. The firm closed its books at the end of December 2002 as part of its merger with Jones Day, but those eight months are understood to have seen a continuing decrease in profitability.