News Banking and finance UK Law firms Cuts and redundancies Dickie Dees launches redundancy consultation in banking team By Margaret Taylor 16 December 2010 12:08 17 December 2015 15:38 Sign in or register to continue reading. It's FREE Sign in Email Password Keep me logged in Forgot your password? Not registered? It's FREE! Register now Register with The Lawyer Anonymous 16 December 2010 at 17:07 This kind of action is pretty much Dickinson Dees’s M.O. Reply Link Anonymous 16 December 2010 at 18:52 The problem for Dixon Dees is that there is no real big ticket banking work in Middlesborough, York and Carlisle and they really should have gone into the big financial centres like Leeds, Edinburgh and London to keep that sort of practice busy. Reply Link Anonymous 16 December 2010 at 19:02 Their banking practice was really only Chris Harker and since he’s gone it will have left a big hole. Never heard of Deborah Kirkley. A shame though for the associates who are affected by this. Reply Link Anonymous 16 December 2010 at 21:28 OMG!! Surely that team has put more hours in over the years than all the DD partners added together. Lovely christmas present for them all… Reply Link Sammy Nicolson 16 December 2010 at 21:30 Many people get bullied at school, but it’s unusual to see so many find management positions in one firm. I cannot fathom why my firm would wait until just before Christmas to anounce this. Reply Link Anonymous 16 December 2010 at 21:31 Love the smile – says it all about that place Reply Link Anonymous 16 December 2010 at 21:33 All you need to know about Chris Harker is (a) that he graduated from Oxford then spent his whole career building up Dickinson Dees to a major regional firm and (b) when he retired the firm didn’t even give him a bottle of wine to say thank you. Reply Link Anonymous 16 December 2010 at 21:36 2 from 7? I think that’ll be 2 from 6, unless the partner is at risk….oh of course not, that would be a first for dickenson dees Reply Link Anonymous 16 December 2010 at 21:36 All you need to know about Dixon Dees is that in the late 1990s they were on par with DLA, Addleshaws and Pinsents. Now they have the fourth highest PEP of the five Newcastle firms. These guys tell people they are business lawyers but they have failed on a massive scale with their own business. The people leaving should thank their lucky stars. Reply Link Anonymous 17 December 2010 at 07:44 In the Newcastle market most people expected Dickinson Dees to shed many more staff. Maybe that’s what will happen in January. It’s partly a North East issue because of all the cuts. However most of the problems are with the firm which for five or six years has been bloated and underperforming. The firm has been making increasingly desperate attempts to catch up with other firms by taking a risk on ABS but no business will invest when they look at how badly the business has performed. Reply Link Fat & Useless 17 December 2010 at 08:45 I wonder how Dickinson Dees will do in the Roll on Friday firm of the Year Awards? Jobless at Christmas… Nasty. Reply Link Anonymous 17 December 2010 at 12:40 Chris Harker was the last old school partner they had. A true gent who took the title of Partner seriously and was never afraid of mucking in. Such a shame that can no longer be said about the remaining bunch of “partners” Reply Link Anonymous 17 December 2010 at 14:12 There is real negative sentiment out there about this firm from pretty much everyone. Why is that? I thought this firm was supposed to be the jewel in the crown of the northern law firms? Reply Link Anonymous 17 December 2010 at 14:39 I didn’t know they were in London. Does anyone actually work in their London office? Reply Link Anonymous 17 December 2010 at 14:56 The negative sentiment is a result of how the firm is managed and how they treat people. There is also a fair degree of arrogance and hyperbole surrounding DD. The London office referred to above is an example. They have a london office but I don’t think they have anyone working there so not sure why they hold themselves out as being in London? It’s just silly really. Reply Link Anonymous 17 December 2010 at 15:03 I know people who were hounded out of that place because they stood up for themselves and then had their reputations trashed by certain elements in the firm. Not a particularly nice set up in my view. Bad news for the banking lawyers affected by the redundancy process but can’t say I care too much about the partners. Serves them right for milking it for so long without investing or being bold enough to move out of the north east. Reply Link Anonymous 17 December 2010 at 15:29 Virtually every post so far shows a complete lack of understanding about DD. Before people pass comments, they really ought to get at least the basis facts right! Reply Link Ex-Trainee 18 December 2010 at 15:42 Good firm to train at (although that was 2002) but if they ever lost Nigel Bellis then the whole place would have fallen apart. Reply Link Anonymous 18 December 2010 at 15:48 Bad times, bad timing. Reply Link Anonymous 19 December 2010 at 10:04 In the North East legal market Dickinson Dees has an awful reputation for having pushed lots of good lawyers out (esp those with under 12 mnths service) under the guise of “performance issues”. It’s unfair and it’s a sign of the nasty bullies who have made partner at this under-performing law firm. I would love to see the real statistics about numbers driven out as well as officially made redundant. I bet we would see that partners have been artificially kept in office whilst assistants have been disproportionately culled. That would explain why otherwise professional partners are so willing to slate former employees of Dickinson Dees. Reply Link Wikileaks 19 December 2010 at 10:08 After wave after wave of cuts, it’s time for Dickinson Dees to move to a smaller office. I hear the Woolworths in Walker is still empty, Mr Blair… Reply Link Tyrone 19 December 2010 at 10:11 I hope when the Dixon Dees partners watch their children opening expensive presents on Christmas Day they think of what they’re doing to members of their banking team. It’s such an odd decision as the banking team was the second most profitable team last year. Reply Link Frau 19 December 2010 at 11:31 Are they advising Mike Ashley on employment decisions or is he advising Dickinson Dees? Reply Link Anonymous 19 December 2010 at 11:49 Dickinson Dees – Again??? Reply Link Anonymous 19 December 2010 at 19:54 There’s no basis to all the claims these chops are unfair! The partners of DD are doing a great job. It’s the oiks below partner who have caused all the problems with this esteemed firm so they should be chased off the premises of St Ann’s. Reply Link Anonymous 19 December 2010 at 20:04 It’s just 30% of a team; what’s the big deal? At least the partner is safe. Reply Link Anonymous 19 December 2010 at 20:24 In the North East, the partners at Dickinson Dees see themselves as the heroes of business. They crank themselves onto every board and committee going and make statements about job creation and enterprise. In the North East, people who don’t work at Dickinson Dees think they’re figures of fun. They talk up RGS as if it gave them a real knowledge of how commerce works. They show the same pompous flair for hyperbole as Toad of Toad Hall. Worst of all, they pretend to be thinking of the good of everyone whilst refusing to promote any of their staff to partner. Reply Link Anonymous 19 December 2010 at 20:26 They act for Mike Ashley and Peter Reid. Maybe it’s time for them to stop pretending they are loved in Newcastle. Reply Link G 19 December 2010 at 20:30 The speed boat crashes into the jagged rocks. Jonny Blair, chief engineer arrives at the scene and speaks to the captain. She says “I’m sorry, I keep on directing this motor towards the rocks”. “don’t worry” says Jonny “it’s clearly a very bad motor let’s chuck away two sevenths of it and then let you carry on speeding around”. Good work Jonny. Good work Deborah. Reply Link Anonymous 19 December 2010 at 20:39 256 to 243; does anyone believe that figure? Scientists reckon that in the North you’re never more than 21m away from someone who had their career prospects spitefully terminated by the Dickinson Dees cabal. Reply Link Anonymous 19 December 2010 at 22:37 All part of the Dickinson Dees masterplan to slim down to 67 partners (and nobody else). Reply Link Anonymous 19 December 2010 at 22:41 London Office? Balderdash! They’re meeting rooms which are hired by the hour! Can I pretend I have a London Office too!?! Reply Link C. P. T. 19 December 2010 at 23:07 Eek! More redundancies? How many more times can they scale down their NQ / Assistant workforce before someone asks why partners are never held to account for the firm’s failings? Reply Link My Uncle Oswald 19 December 2010 at 23:12 London office? Surely you mean London meeting room? It’s a joke that they are making more people jobless just before Xmas. If the partners spent more time working rather than trying to spread rumours about rival firms then they would probably have a chance of surviving. Reply Link Anonymous 19 December 2010 at 23:18 In Newcastle legal circles on prominent equity partner is known as “the muckspreader” because he spends most of his waking hours trying to trash people’s reputations. Sometimes they’re other lawyers, sometimes former colleagues, sometimes it is other firms. However everytime it’s done out of enthusiastic self-interest. His actions alone explain the tsunami of dislike that follows this arrogant firm around. Reply Link Anonymous 20 December 2010 at 11:18 There’s something rather S&M about the staff who continue to work at Dixon Dees, whilst the partners time and time again do their best to shaft them. Can those given the meaningless title of director really not feel some resentment towards the partners who’ve stopped their careers? Reply Link Chloe 20 December 2010 at 12:52 Maybe the partners at Dickinson Dees should swallow their pride and ask partners at firms with higher PEP, eg Ward Hadaway, Eversheds, Muckle etc for tips? Reply Link Anonymous 20 December 2010 at 17:04 These comments, the overwhelming negative sentiment, the triple round of redundancies, the failure to address partner and management underperformance, poor PEP, the unwillingness to admit new partners, the lack of growth and investment and the self agrandizing propoganda (ooh look at us we have a London meeting room!) and the failure of management to get a grip on reality is a sad reflection of the way this firm is managed today. Get a grip Jonny Blair for gods sake. Reply Link Anonymous 20 December 2010 at 19:17 All very amusing, but some astonishingly ill informed comments here. Generally speaking DD is a good firm at which to work. There are a few ‘personalities’ as there are at any law firm but this does not detract from the overall positives. To redress a few points from above: The PEP may be lower than other competing firms in the region but that is accounted for by the higher number of equity partners in comparison to turnover. The turnover is twice the nearest rival (with a healthy profit margin) which explains may of the petty comments here. The negative comparisons to the local firms are also interesting. Watson Burton seems to be losing partners for fun and Ward Hadaway is strongly rumoured to be looking for a merger firm. Has any other firm tried to weather the credit crunch by trying to hang on the all members of their respctive banking teams for the last two years ? In a sense, DD should be congratulated for hanging on for so long ! Reply Link Anonymous 21 December 2010 at 15:53 The comment posted at 7.17pm looks like an insiders view. A good firm to work at “generally speaking” is hardly a ringing endorsement! How many equity partners and how many salaried partners? At least WB did actually try and open a London office with real people and clients and not just a boast on their website! Even if WH are looking for a merger so what? Loads of mergers have been done for good business reasons and have been very successful (Pinsents, Addleshaws, DLA, Eversheds…it’s called progress in a market that has been consolidating for years and will continue). Congratulations DD for hanging on for so long. You’ve done a great job! Those associates who have lost their jobs because the partners didn’t do theirs should be grateful that they did manage to hang on for a bit longer than others! Reply Link Anonymous 21 December 2010 at 16:05 I used to work there. No positives for me I’m afraid. A bunch of toffs and a few wide boys is how I would describe it. None of them particularly nice to work for nor particularly gracious when I resigned. Reply Link Disgruntled DD Worker 21 December 2010 at 18:42 Oh dear. The “muckspreader” responds on behalf of the firm pointing at other firms as if it hides Dickinson Dees’s manifold problems. It doesn’t. I work for the firm everyone hates. They hate us because of the misdirected arrogance shown in the post above (7:17-20 Dec). Not all the managers are like that, but the majority are. They seem to be the bullied kids at school, eager to bolster their self esteem by being cruel to others. It might not be clear to those outside but this is a firm driven by spiteful people. The comments on here restore my faith that right thinking people realise the firm needs drastic changes to be made asap. The post above says it all – does anyone in their right mind want to congratulate the partners at Dickinson Dees for announcing team redundancies on the Friday before Christmas? Is it too much to hope for a Christmas Carol moment for all partners over Xmas? Reply Link Anonymous 21 December 2010 at 18:54 Does anyone else sense that the author of Anon 7:17pm 20 Dec 2010 is detached from reality. Does anyone want to extend a hearty congratulations to the Geordie Gentlemen’s club for sacking 30% of the Banking Team the week before Christmas day? Does anyone think the firm isn’t failing? 6 rounds of redundancies in less than 24 months says otherwise. The “personalities” doesn’t go far enough. Some of those partners are right at the end of the spectrum. The reason Dixon Dees is so hated is that they screwed over lots of people during the recession, the partners put self-preservation first and as a result the firm is still in danger of collapsing. Now they have to live with the consequences – which is lots of people pointing out their failings. Oh and for the record the rumours about the other firms aren’t true. It’s Dickinson Dees which is strongly rumoured to be looking for a merger firm – or as it should be called a “rescue firm”. Reply Link Anonymous 21 December 2010 at 19:02 Comment 41 – Well written by no doubt one of the many underperforming partners at Dickinson Dees. Failure to understand the point as usual. Why congratulate a firm for putting six people through hell at what is supposed to be a time of festive cheer? Such a stupid comment would only be made by someone if they were safe in the knowledge that they had a job that was safe no matter how poor they were at it and still be so lacking in self awareness to talk about high turnover figures that the people the firm is so keen to make redundant have helped contribute to. Reply Link Anonymous 21 December 2010 at 20:17 Anonymous | 20-Dec-2010 7:17 pm Perhaps having so many underperforming equity partners isn’t something to boast about during a redundancy process? Reply Link Paul 22 December 2010 at 07:28 75% of the firm are friendly well adjusted people. 25% are not the kind of people you would want to share an office with. Those 25% are the problem. They are a big problem as that is what Dickinson Dees is known for being – manipulative, untrustworthy and snide. Reply Link Anonymous 22 December 2010 at 18:27 I worked at Dickinson Dees. The person who said they were “toffs and wide boys” is spot on. They are all either toffs or wide boys. That said they are all [….s]. Reply Link Anonymous 22 December 2010 at 19:16 Look all, I’m just saying the firm should be applauded by the legal community for making better decisions than all other Northern law firms, in particular Watson Burton, Eversheds and Watson Burton. This is just the start of a process of change for the firm designed to make Dickinson Dees competitive with and then overtake Clifford Chance and Linklaters. Dickinson Dees cannot carry the weight of junior staff. We made a choice at the outset to keep those who had made partner by 2007 and it’s working. This is just the first steps of a big journey. You watch. Dickinson Dees always has the last laugh. Reply Link Honest Ed 28 December 2010 at 10:47 I used to regularly instruct Dickinson Dees. I don’t any more. The pervasive unhappiness around this firm translates into its legal work. The fees stopped representing value for money around 2007 and I found that you never got a proper opinion because everyone was braced for criticism. This latest redundancy, in the week before Christmas, shows the death throes of a firm that stopped caring about its clients and then stopped caring about its staff. Still, at least the partners and their stay at home wives are fine. Reply Link Anonymous 8 January 2011 at 21:59 How sad to read of the troubles of Dickson Dees and the comments made as a result of the redundancies. In 1975 I worked as a secretary for Dickinson Miller & Turnbull (which later became Dickinson Dees) in Cross House. I recall the firm’s merger with Dees & Thompson (who came to Cross House from their offices in Grey Street where one partner told me he had been in the same room for 30 years) and saw the beginning of the firm going from strength to strength All the partners were gentlemen (Ian and Robert Dickinson, Richard Wilson, Mr Meikle, Mr Collingwood, Mr Potts, Mr North-Lewis to name but a few) and the younger partners were lovely to work for and good fun (Fred Wilson, Philip Helm, Lyn Rutherford etc) though we all worked very hard. I was there when Chris Harker came as an articled clerk and, even then, he showed great potential and had a very engaging personality so I’m not surprised to read that he did great things for the firm. I suppose this is what they call progress but, to all those who have been ousted by the firm for no apparent good reason I send my very best wishes and hope they have a happy retirement. 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