DLA Piper lambasted by staff over payoffs

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  • disgusting

    Pure and other greed. How much would it cost each of the partners to give a handful of associates a half-decent package?

    DLA may have been trying to mask themselves as one of the contenders, but this is really where the difference between them and the top firms becomes apparent.

    Massively short-sighted own-goal!

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  • Despicable!

    I cannot believe that a firm of that size would let their staff go with minimum statutory pay. That is disgraceful. This is simply so that the partners can continue to afford their "lifestyle." BE ASHAMED PARTNERS OF DLA PIPER. I'm glad I turned down your job offer in the past. Even though I currently risk being made redundant at my present firm, at least we are being treated with dignity and a decent pay-off (the least anyone could ask for in the current climate!)

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  • Eh?

    What has happened to integrity, respect and honour?

    It's disgusting to hear how staff are being treated, the ones who do the real work. I bet DLA's recruitment brochure still has testimonials saying it's "a great place to work". Very misleading.

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  • What nice people

    for those of us with long memories and a course of dealings with the firm since its Bibb Lupton days this comes as no suprise, I have usualy founde them not particularly pleasnat to deal with and have rarely been impressed by their quality.

    I alwasy was a little suprised at their ranking in the "happy place to wokr" surveys

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  • Not Unusual behaviour for DLA

    I once worked for DLA, was promised partnership, etc I brought in my own work. After 9 months I left due to their shabby employee practices so this is not surprising. As a General Counsel with a £1 mill budget guess what- DLA never will get any work from me! So they should remember poor behaviour now is remembered.

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  • DLA Piper payoffs

    I hope that when they want to recruit when the market picks up again, prospective candidates will remember this episode - cheap and nasty. Like corporate Britain generally - everything for the Olympians at the top and just crumbs, rags and tatters for the leser mortals.

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  • DLA Piper

    To the Bibb (sic) Lupton poster - not sure I am that impressed by your own quality given the number of errors, typographical and otherwise, in your comments!

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  • DLA Piper

    I think some people need to get a reality check here. Most firms other than those few who the legal press have alighted on are making statutory redundancy payments or not much better to those with whom they are parting company. It seems to me that DLA Piper has a considerably smaller percentage of it's lawyers at risk of redundancy no doubt in an effort to preserve more jobs. That strikes me as a more respectful and sensitive way of treating it's lawyer and support staff community than letting whole waves of people go in the current climate as e.g. the "ever so compassionate" A&O have done.

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  • Law firms or charities?

    The notion that people won't apply somewhere because they made people redundant on statutory terms seems a bit fanciful to me. Partnerships are there to make profits for the partners, no? Deal with it, and if you can't, go work somewhere else!

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  • nonsensical business model

    It is interesting to see what certain firms have to do in a time of crisis. While firing people in the UK, DLA in the US has moved to a full equity partnership. Wonder why? They are asking salary partners an average of USD150k to join the equity! When didiving the pie: tight equity; when things go bad, bring more people in. In certain countries (in a true "franchise" model where every country is truly separated), they have a equity/non equity ratio as high as 1:10 (in Italy I believe that there are 5 or 6 equity partners for a total of 100 professionals!!!!). How can anybody talk about quality?

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  • Is there an alternative?

    I feel sorry for the people being made redundant, but if the works not there then what choice does DLA have? I'd like to think that if I were a business owner that when I had to make people redundant I'd offer them a great package, but what's the incentive? People will always be devastated that they have lost their job and will always be of the view that they deserve a better settlement. I don't imagine people being binned from Linklaters are delighted at their slightly better package.

    I also think the view that partnerships survive intact through this sort of downturn is a misnoma. The reality is that firms like DLA will be trimming costs wherever they can and this includes removing underperforming partners.

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  • DLA

    Strange - we hear and see a lot of the newly knighted Senior Partner when things are going well - seems a bit shy on this occasion!

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  • Same story in the Middle East

    It's the same story in DLA's middle east office. Up until February the finance practice was taking in more lawyers. Then finance lawyers who had been around much longer were made redundant without proper compensation. More redundancies are bound to follow. It's a sinking ship.

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  • Statutory abuse

    So, DLA partners can not afford to offer their staff a ha'penny more than the minimum severance pay demanded by UK employment law? Disgraceful. Companies on the brink of bankruptcy, companies with little means to pay creditors, it is for the employees of these struggling companies that statutory redundancy pay is meant to act as an absolute floor. Can DLA seriously plead such poverty? Is DLA suddenly no longer a top, cash rich partnership comprised of top, cash rich, millionaire partners? No doubt the DLA press office will be putting the spin on things that deeper cuts into PPP would undermine the firm's competitiveness making statutory packages an unfortunate necessity. Gumpf. This a morally repugnant decision driven managerial egotism and naked greed.

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  • Sharing the Burden

    Undoubtedly DLA which has made its name as a forward-leading firm, and its senior partner honoured accordingly, would wish to provide its staff with the best redundancy terms that it is in a position to make. One way of cushioning the impact of redundancy on the loyal staff who are now surplus to requirements would be for the partners to relinquish a portion of their profit shares during the downturn and for that money to be set aside to enhance the redundancy packages. It will damage morale within the practice if partners are seen to continue to draw their full entitlements during the recession while staff with young families are forced onto the threadbare job market. Offering social get-togethers and helplines is no substitute for bigger pay-offs now.

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  • Not surprised

    As a former employee I'm not surprised. DLA used to pride itself on the 'Best Companies' status it regularly achieved. As the firm grew and the merger took place they gradually slipped off this list and money seemed to be the major driving factor. Each year DLA would announce record growth in turnover, but pay rises were barely above inflation. I understand that tough decisions have to be made in these times, but DLA's approach surely can't come as a shock to it's employees. It's very sad and my heart goes out to my former colleagues.

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  • Double standards ?

    I wonder how many Employment Lawyers at DLA have advised their clients that 'they only have to pay the statutory minimum' when making blue collar workers redundant. Now they bleat that they are not getting more than they are legally entitled to.
    Oh dear, the Audi A4 will have to be repossessed.Welcome to the real world.




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  • Just the legal minimum?

    Special cases? Sounds like the trade unions with unrealistic demands facing the inevitable. Ever wondered what goes on in the rest of the economy or have we forgotten? Oh yes, unfashionable manufacturing! Doubt you'll see many generous payout there.

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  • I know its not a charity but...

    It is totally unbecoming of an organisation who hold themselves out to be custodians of integrity and honour to make no effort to buffer the effects of a recession for their employees. I thought times like these invoked some kind of camaraderie?




















    I cannot make any informed suggestions (not knowing the business) about how one goes about appeasing redundant stock - but does not appear from The Lawyer's version of the facts that DLA tried (enough/legitimately) .

    Good luck recruiting real talent after that.

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  • Trouble a't Mill...

    Having started work at a predecessor firm of DLA, the behemoth now striding the globe, and gone thru the ranks becoming a partner, and subsequently a consultant, I am not at all surprised by the conduct of 'the firm'.
    There were many chages over the years - not all for the better.Prior to leaving I perceived that there was a culture of bullying, intimidation and cash was almost worshiped for the divi among the equity partners.
    In short, most, but not all, equity partners were greedy.
    I left and founded my own firm with like minded individuals.
    We practice challenging and demanding law for wonderful clients - many having 'defected' from DLA.
    A number of our fomer colleagues joined us.
    We are happy and having fun.
    I am sorry for those facing the cull; however, there is life after DLA.
    For the rest of the profession, we would all do well to reflect on what we pay ourselves and how we treat others.
    The Golden Rule dont be greedy and dont work for those who are greedy - do partners really need to take out more than £1m a year?
    Does anyone?

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  • Plus ca change plus le meme chose

    In times of stress most organisations reveal their true colours. DLA have missed an opportunity to treat their outgoing staff better than the statutory minimum. They are likely to lose any residual goodwill those "alumni" may have had for the firm. Their loss will no doubt be other's gain. There are some of us in the legal profession who believe in excellence and deliver it, who don't chase the last ounce of profit, who believe in client service above all and work collegiately and supportively through good times and bad.
    There is another way!

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  • Trouble with ungrateful employees is....

    It sickens me to hear people who aren't even smart enough to understand that times are tight for all law firms calling for more appreciation and thanks and a better redundancy package. Hunting animals seems easy in comparison to explaining this to some people.

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  • DLA

    How many Ferraris does Sir Senior Partner have?

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  • Surprising.... NOT!

    From their early days when they were trying to break into the London legal big time right up to the present day, they are the most tight fisted law firm I ever worked for. Doesn't surprise me at all that a firm who gives £50 Xmas bonus to staff (in the good times!) would treat them just as shabbily in a redundancy situation. Who would want to work there?

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  • Dont be so precious

    As a former partner of a major international law firm, I have seen first hand how all larger firms gravitate to the same “Stepford Wife” model for partners. In this case, however, they are target-driven, thrusting, money and status worshipers. It used to amuse me to see the lengths others would go to get their names on my files, as the originator of the work or the partner responsible for the work. There is no place in these organisations for people who do not want to fight to be king of the dung-heap. The associates now complaining ought to stop and think: Did you join DLA (indeed, can you join any large law firm nowadays) because you thought that the culture was something akin to John Lewis? Of course not. So do not be surprised when the dog you lay down with gives you a dose of fleas. Keith’s point below is well made. If you want security of tenure, quality of life and a truly enjoyable work culture, you should be prepared to look at the “those firms” you may previously have been turning your nose up at, but who have quietly been humouring you. You may be paid a little less, but you will live longer.

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  • No surprises

    I used be a solicitor with DLA and got out long ago to a much happier position with an employer who cares. At least you could say their selfish greed has always been a consistent trait. Those still working there should have jumped ship in the good times. The greed and disregard of the partners for anybody but themselves has always been clearly apparent for those with their eyes open. I can still recall the £50 bonus Christmas as a trainee....cheap and stingy then cheap and stingy now.

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  • The Fist of God

    Looks like management are making a good fist of it

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  • oh dear

    oops. I can only presume that sir nige doesn't think they will be needing laterals for a few years... As for those made redundant, will they be instructing Dibbs when they turn up in-house 2 years from now?

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  • DLA Piper

    It is never fund to be made redundant but a more balanced article would have mentioned that if the DLA lawyers were working as in-house lawyers in financial institutions they would be lucky to get one month on top of the statutory pay.

    If this is a way to protect the greater number of jobs, it was no doubt a hard but very necessary decision for the Managing Partner.

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  • Dumb Lawyers Association

    DLA suffer from a massive perception problem in the city. What continues to amaze me is their ability to make this worse at every turn. Own goal, own goal, and now another own goal. Well done to the DLA PR machine.

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  • General Counsel

    The continued attacks on DLA are getting rather boring - get on with some work rather than waste time being negative about others otherwise you may find yourself subject to a redundancy process yourself. My team frequently use DLA for large volumes of work and find them to provide a great service with great quality work for a fair price particularly in comparison to some of the MC and silver circle firms - they have achieved a huge amount throught the hard work of very many very talented and committed people and it is entirely wrong for some on these boards to suggest they are rubbish - are you feeling insecure ? This is the real world where difficult decisions have to be made so show respect for what DLA are trying to do - preserve their longevity for the benefit of as many staff and partners as possible by limiting the number of redundancies as far as possible - what so many haven't commented on is the small percenage cuts in numbers DLA are making compared to many other firms.
    The quantum of redundancy payments is of no bearing on how good a firm is and the amounts supposedly being paid by A&O and the like highlight how lucky some of you in private practice are and how ridiculous private practice salaries have become - a 3yr pqe getting close on 100K redundancy - unbelievable - just because some generation Y lawyers aren't getting as much as their mates at A&O doesn't give people the right to target one firm in such an unfair and abusive manner - do you know how little a factory worker in Doncaster being made redundant will get and don't you realise the national firms are paying no better than DLA ? Change the record and move on.

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  • impartial comments only please?

    There needs to be a tightening of admissions into the LPC, if it's almost impossible for a student with a 2:2 to get a training contract then why should they be allowed onto the LPC in the first place?

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  • As a former employee of DLA (I was there for nearly eight years) I can most certainly reiterate how badly the organisation treats its staff. I tried on numerous occasions to obtain a new role within the same department. Would they even give me a chance ? No they would not. They would rather recruit externally from agencies than show loyalty to long serving members of staff. The atmosphere within the place was horrid as a result of having to work with nasty bullying members of staff. I was basically left to rot in a dead end job and expected to work until seven or eight oclock at night.

    Good riddance that's all I can say.

    Thank god I'm out of there. That's one thing I never thought I would say.

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