Herbert Smith redeploys Hong Kong associates amid IPO slump

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  • Everyone knows that Herbies Hong Kong doesn't actually make anyone "redundant". Instead they ETL their associates, which is Herbies speak for "encourage to leave". Once you have been ETL'ed you can either resign and take a three-month paid vacation or wait for Andrew T and Kevin R to fire you for bogus performance related reasons. Guess which option everyone choses.

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  • My friend in their capital markets group in Hong Kong told me she has had zero chargeable hours for over six months. Apparently all of the work goes to one associate who the big boss has a crush on. Everyone else either works on know how or does low level document review for the litigation department.

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  • Not surprising to hear this. Their corporate practice in Hong Kong was notorious for being an IPO sweatshop where associates were expected to work 100 hours a week drafting mind-numbingly dull prospectuses. Of course they're going to start chopping heads when the IPOs dry up.

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  • Blimey - I hope what Herbies Associate at 12.42pm said is true because to my mind its libellous if not

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  • What's gonna happen six months from now if the IPO market isn't booming again? I think if I was on secondment to a client I'd be trying to secure myself a new job before the next round of ETLs starts.

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  • After the recent London redundancies it was only a matter of time before the heads started rolling in Asia. I hear more cuts are planned before the end of the year.

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  • @ Herbies Associate | 28-Sep-2012 12:42 pm - With most firms you can take the declared redundancy number and at least triple it before you reach anything like the actual number pushed out.
    Of course often firms don't even bother with the pretence/window dressing of any formal redundancies, they just do it all by stealth.
    It's despicable, disgusting and immoral.

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