BLP to cut 58 legal staff in massive salary reduction drive

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  • Sad news. Really feel for all those affected! I had hoped we'd seen the back of these large scale redundancies

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  • Are the partners going to take some hit in their PEP, then?

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  • Bilbo, the rumours are that PEP will be decimated this year and will probably end up at around 50% of last year's figure.

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  • First, partner draws cut/withheld, now this. Their policy of bringing in (supposedly) big hitting magic circle partners on big guarantees suggests they didnt deliver the goods. Cant fire them because still on guarantees. So hit the associates - nice! Wheels are coming off. All the hype, law firm of the year, etc etc. Perhaps the commenters/award dolers need to be more circumspect. Let's hope this isnt going the way of Dewey.

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  • Reducing costs and streamlining in preparation for anything perhaps?

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  • Bilbo, it really isn't in the culture of BLP for the partners to take a cut in PEP. The model is:

    1. Sweat the Associates when there is work;
    2. Complain that they aren't working hard enough when there isn't enough work;
    3. Fail to recognise that is their job to bring in the work.

    There are some SEPs sitting in departments who have bought in next to no work over a number of years and still complain the the associates are paid too much. These guys will probably survive the cull. Says it all really. Lovely firm.

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  • 14-May-2013 1:38 pm

    This is the major flaw is the "Field of Dreams" business plan as employed by BLP

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  • Word on the street is that there is more to follow.....

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  • BLP seems to have managed to defy gravity and to avoid negative press coverage for the last few years. I could never work out how or why.

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  • I suppose if they get rid of enough people they can rid of those other offices round the back and have everybody under one roof. Another cost saving. Next step virtual lawyers......hang on a minute haven't they tried this.....

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  • Some interesting and spot on comments. To add further comment

    BLP's problem is
    1. There are a few very good lawyers but lots of mediocre ones.
    2. The partners are generally speaking very poor managers.
    3. The firm is obsessed with being part of the magic circle or at least competing with those firms but fails to realise they never will be. They chase clients well beyond their reach and waste resources in their pursuit rather than concentrating on building other valuable relationships. The firm does not have the people, infrastructure or ability to compete with the magic circle.

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  • It all stems from having a managing partner who is too much of a partner and not enough of a manager......

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  • "The firm does not have the people, infrastructure or ability to compete with the magic circle."

    Except when it comes to redundancy rounds...this is getting on for Linklaters' "New World" levels of P45. Ouch.

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  • 1. There have already been lots pushed out by "stealth".
    2. There will be lots more going in addition to this declared round, both by stealth and in at least one more formal round.
    3. BLP is in a far more fragile position than many realise as a result of massive guaranteed payments to a large number of partners, and its very overweight position in real estate.
    If not very carefully managed this firm will be the next Cobbetts/Semple Fraser/Dewey & LeBeouf
    4. There is rightly little loyalty to the firm among associates due to the attitude it has consistently shown to its staff, very similar to namesake SJ Berwin. Those who can move will.

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  • Nice apologetic statement by Neville there. I like the human element that shows he cares about the employees who are going to lose their jobs.

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  • Is BLP planning on getting rid of the Magic Circle Partners they hired on huge guarantees? It is clear they have failed to deliver.

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  • Expensive laterals and poor morale are not BLP's only problems.

    BLP is a late starter to international expansion and as result has not yet gained the rewards of an international spread. Instead, it has to meet the costs of new ventures overseas out of a modest turnover and profit pool compared to the competition.

    One hard choice BLP now faces is, therefore, between cutting at home or continuing to invest overseas. Strategically, the latter seems the best long term option - possibly the only chance of salvation barring a miraculous upturn in the UK property market - but the BLP brand does not sell well internationally. The chances of BLP generating a decent return on investment overseas any time soon look poor. For those who survive the forthcoming cull, more hard times lie ahead.

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  • Anonymous | 15-May-2013 12:38 pm

    We're not going anywhere

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  • BLP also suffers from surprisingly poor utilisation rates across the board. Their overheads are not sustainable given these rates. I've met some very talented lawyers there, but most of them stem from the pre-merger days.

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  • I got out a few years ago, best thing i ever did.

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