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Addleshaw Goddard has launched a firm-wide restructuring, which is expected to see 85 non fee-earners lose their jobs, fee-earners work reduced hours and salaries cut.
The consultation with 85 members of support staff, which was launched last week, will affect all offices and business services teams. It is expected that broadly equal numbers of secretarial and business services staff will lose their jobs.
This is the third round of job cuts the firm has made in the last year, following the exit of 19 partners earlier this year (21 January) and 16 redundancies, including two fee-earners, last summer (13 October 2008).
The firm does not anticipate having to part company with any more fee-earners or partners as a result of this restructuring. A spokesperson said: “We’re hoping that the whole package of measures will help minimise the need for further redundancies.”
Instead fee-earners will be consulted on “the possibility of sabbaticals, buying additional holiday and the option of introducing reduced working hours,” the spokesperson added.
In addition, the firm has frozen salaries at 2008-09 levels for all fee-earners and support staff, with the next salary review not expected to take place until 1 May 2010.
In an emailed statement newly-appointed managing partner Paul Devitt said: “Our priority during this sustained downturn is to continue to manage our firm in a way which is appropriate for us and our clients. We addressed overcapacity in the partnership earlier this year and with conditions remaining challenging, we now need to address our wider resource and cost base.
“These decisions have been reached only after the most careful and thorough consideration and we’re giving as much support as we can to the affected individuals. We’re confident that the full range of measures being proposed, and decisions taken, will help to keep the number of roles `at risk` to a minimum and will minimise the need for any future similar announcements.”
Devitt added: “Our business remains in a strong position, and in addition to responding to current conditions, we continue to plan and invest appropriately for the future.”
Trainees will also have their salaries cut nationwide, but training contracts will not be deferred (18 May).