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HSF pays tribute to former corporate recovery head in wake of suicide

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  • CommAll these stress programmes are a sham. There is absolutely no real concern for the mental welfare of associates or partners. On an anecdotal basis, there may well be examples of how well someone was treated who was overcome by stress but on a firmwide and institutionalised basis such concern simply does not exist among the MC firms. Any signs of stress or other mental issues that affect performance will result in the person being looked upon as " not up to it ". Partners will be more concerned about making sure they do not attarct any legal liability in the way they deal with such a person.. Firms have become more hostile places to work where often basic civility is forgotten in pursuit of profit. There has not been nor will there ever be with the current generation of management any serious examination of work practices. They are judged on how much they increased profitability not what they did for " touchy feely " stuff. In the MC,it is all about where you rank in profitability and increasing what goes in a partner's pocket. So how does management ensure that. Well, you dont need an MBA to come up with a game plan for increased profitability, because its still basically just the same two levers that law firms have always used. Increase hourly rates and/or increase billable hours targets for fee earners. Clients are more effectively fighting the first lever, and in many cases securing huge discounts against standard rates, which just increases the pressure for more billables to be found elsewhere. In the end, what can the human condition tolerate in terms of billable targets? In the US, one sees ridiculous targets. Ten years ago it was already north of 2,000 per annum? So where will it end? 3,000, 4,000? Stress will just increase unchecked. What will give in the end? ent

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  • 'Although [NYC BigLawFirm who shall not be named] has no explicit billable hour requirements, expectations reportedly hover around the 2700 mark depending on deal volume, and billing 3000 hours in a year is not uncommon. This number vastly exceeds the already high billable averages of NYC BigLaw, which more often fall in the 2000-2400 range depending on the firm and the associate’s ambitions regarding partnership. Also important to note is that these extra hours disproportionately affect the social lives and out-of-office free time of associates, who generally work 12-14 hours per day including nearly every weekend'.

    How on earth is this sustainable?

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