Addleshaws cuts fee-earners as profits rise 30 per cent

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  • Our people are our most important asset but, hey, you can have too much of a good thing.

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  • Nice....!

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  • All in the name of increased PEPafter a drop in 2010-11. It would obviously be disastrous if those at the top didn't see a year-on-year increase in their earnings after that oh-so-terrible drop a year or so back, given that it we are experiencing a prolonged recession... and obviously so long as they get that increase, it's totally justifiable to axe associates on the basis of decreased attrition rates...

    Who would want to be a lawyer these days (other than those sat in their ivory towers)?!

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  • How do these people sleep at night? 30% rise in profit and also redundancies? I bet you it isn't just senior associates who will get the brunt of this...this stinks of a cull to help line the pockets of the socially inept brown-nosers who make up the partnership. To the partnership of AG, I spurn you as I would spurn a rabid dog.

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  • Another horrible consequence of the current market but aside from all this AG bashing I can see their logic on this move.

    Other firms have been doing this on the sly for months now, at least they have been open about it. PEP has became the key benchmark and unfortunately it needs maintaining for the long term strength of the firm. If there were a stream of partners leaving due to higher earning potential elsewhere then there would be far more jobs at risk in the long run.

    Still, feel for the individuals involved having experienced similar myself.

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  • This is disgraceful. I hope the AG partners reap what they sow and suffer a massive drop in PEP when the remaining associates head for the doors. Disloyalty breeds disloyalty...

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  • Greed is good.

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  • But you just watch those litigation figures drop if Berezovsky v Abramovich doesn't go the right way, and which is being done on a CFA...

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  • It's entirely the fault of the fee earners.

    If more of them had resigned recently they wouldn't have had to be fired.

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  • Agree with one of the anonymous posters, at least this isn't on the sly. All professional services firms hire on a regular basis and whittle those people down to the partnership. Up or out.
    For years this was concealed as the pyramid got fatter at each level to keep up with growing work levels (built on flimsy debt foundations, lest we forget). But now that growth is gone, the number of trainees at the bottom of the pyramid is shrinking and every level above that will see some fat trimmed to keep things in proportion.
    Lets not forget, though, that most in the profession still live a remarkably gilded life compared to the average (£26k) british punter.

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  • Marvelous. Thanks very much guys for getting us back up to the expected PEP. We honestly couldn't have done it but for you. Now, if you could just shut the door on your way out and go through the side door this would be appreciated too.

    Disgusting treatment of staff. 24 fee earners on salary of circa £80k would take less than 20% of the profit "increase" posted, not the overall profit.

    Greed is a horrible thing.

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  • Let's not be too hasty to make judgments on the firm. I'm sure if you spoke to any non-partner of the firm they would tell you it is a wonderful place to work. The constant nervous glances over the shoulder to ensure no-one from the firm was within ear-shot would be mere coincidence...

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  • Do as others would do unto you. Does that have any degree of resonance for the partners who have required sacrifice (not least to ensure their own PEP figures) from these associates on the vague promise of future promotion? Whilst all of us at this rank take such partner chat with enough salt to take us well over a government mandated RDA this is appalling behaviour - and justification - from AG. They must be using the same PR firm as the now defunct McGrigors.

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  • This is appalling. Having beasted the senior staff for years and told them of their value to the business, they are now thrown over whilst the partners pocket even bigger profits.

    How can they sleep?

    As for the people saying at least they are not sly about it. Not being sly about something reprehensible doesn't make it less reprehensible.

    As for the people saying other firms do it, it is equally crap when they do it too.

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  • Is anyone prepared to take this on as Age Discrimination?

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  • Paul Devitt: " . . . having so far avoided a fee earner redundancy programme . . ."

    Yet fee earner numbers have dropped from 490 to 437 over the last 5 years? And with the market as it's been over that time they've all voluntarily resigned and moved on to pastures new?

    I don't think so. There's another name for that programme which hasn't just affected fee earners. At least this time around they're doing the slightly more decent thing by calling it a redundancy process.

    Now when are they going to deal with the issue of partners clawing back every bit of work to their own desks rather than going out hunting for new work, leaving those of fee earners empty and at risk of redundancy? Or has fee earner development fallen by the wayside?!

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  • Axing associates despite profits having increased?! I'm starting to suspect that AG is being run to turn a profit rather than as a charity to keep unimaginative swats in high paid employment after they leave education.

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  • ..... its the AG Way

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  • If they don't get rid of large numbers of fee-earners and support staff on a regular basis, how on earth will they afford to pay for the last-minute first class train travel by partners between each office?

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  • Would that be the same Addleshaw Goddard which won this very magazine's 2011 HR Award for "Innovation in Talent Management and Retention"? Surely not!

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  • What I don't understand is the trend towards legal director at City firms. If the title is billed as an attractive alternative to partnership then how credible can it be if you are continually at risk of redundancy in the brave new world of the challenged partnership model. Why won't redundancies at this level become a regular thing every 3 years or so?

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  • I really don't get the sentimentality and trash that gets posted on stories like this. So what, 24 fee earners lost their job. Thousands have been losing their jobs for the last few years. Why is being a fee earner so special or protect you from the harsh realities of business. Wake up and don't be so naive. Of course the partners want more money - isn't that after all one of the reasons you became a lawyer?

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  • Some typically crass responses from partners/ wannabes. If AG's partners have any decency at all they'll make decent pay outs. Remains to be seen... The firm has been showing people the exit for years on the quiet.

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  • Even after this story I still think Addleshaws care about their staff more than Dickinson Dees.

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  • I assume the comment above, which defends the firm by proclaming that there is one law firm in the UK that is even worse, is written by a member of the HR Team. Well done, marketing disaster averted

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  • It's the fact that we are meant to feel sorry for the partners after their drop in PEP last year that gets to me. Although, how could they have possibly survived on such a measly sum! Good on them for getting rid of decent hard working underpaid (yes that's right compared to what others in the local market pay) undervalued people after pushing them hard...

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  • Amazing that any fee earning lawyer thinks they have an elevated right to job security.

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