Pre-merger Howard Kennedy to cut 10 support staff roles

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  • This firm has bleeted on about Transparency for the last 18 months yet reading this news in the lawyer was the first that anyone knew about this, apart from the unfortunate people who are in consultation.
    Maybe there will be announcement in the weekly blog!!!

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  • Strange comment from the first post. The firm, as well as being transparent, which it now is, also needs to be commercial. The management have taken a sensible decision to reduce costs and they have gone about the process correctly by informing those in consultation. HK has an overstaffed support side and it is about time that it addressed this issue. I also hope that the combined firm, upon merger, trims some of its fee earner headcount - there will be some duplications and there certainly are some fee earners around the edges who are not producing. Again, commercial sense.

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  • @Anonymous | 23-Nov-2012 9:55 am
    Presume this is a comment from Dembovsky. No matter what you may say, HK is clearly not transparent if people who work there did not know about the latest redundancy round.

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  • are you mad? how can you tell the firm there's going to be a redundancy round without informing those directly implicated first?

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  • The second comment was obviously not from Dembovsky who would certainly not hide behind a comment. The firm is more transparent whatever way you look at it. Perhaps the management thought it would be kinder to let those facing consultation find out first and digest the news rather than make a massive firm wide announcement to those it doesn't concern. These are people's livelihoods we are talking about not a bit of gossip to be shouted about

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  • Absolutely amazed that only those 'In the know' were made aware of these redundancies, surely the staff (as a whole) should of been informed of this round of redundancies and the knock on effect this will have prior to merger rather than hear it from The Lawyer or office gossip. HK being 'Transparent' is laughable given the history of how they treat their staff, nothing will ever change merger or no merger with those in charge pulling the strings. Changes at that level clearly need to be made.

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  • re. Are you mad? They have done it before, previous redundancy rounds were dealt with in exactly that way. Everyone informed in a room that there would be redundancies and if you were one of those up for redundancy you would have an email when you got back to your desk. Please do not give the impression that this is a caring firm, never has been and never will be merger or no merger.

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  • @anon 11.59
    In exactly what same way?! No one was taken to a room to wait for an email in front of everyone. It was done discreetly to obviously preserve people's feelings. At least this time round the management were present and not on a golf course! I suppose you think those affected should have been paraded in front of the firm in aid of transparency without a thought to how that may make them feel?

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  • I think you have misread my post, previous redundancies were dealt with via email after meetings (as you know). Dealing with them the way that HK have done now has only led to office gossip of the 'Who is it' variety and for the majority of staff to find out via a publication is appalling. If it was made clear to all staff that redundancies were due to take place, basically a message mirroring Dembovsky's statement to 'The Lawyer' it would have stopped the idle gossip. As someone who is obviously in a position at HK maybe a message should be communicated to the remaining staff that are not aware of this rather than hearing it from Joe Bloggs from front office.

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  • No surprise, the staff have always been an inconvenience for HK, one of the worst reputations for how they treat their employees. Management is beyond shocking, some of the goings on in the firm would make your toes curl.

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  • It is correct that in a previous round of redundancies, everyone was put in a room and then when you got back to your desk, if you had an email you were up for redundancy. But then, in the last round of redundancies earlier this year, affecting partners and one senior associate, HK changed tack and decided that rather than just tell those involved, they would send a firmwide email naming all of those affected. So those poor individuals were indeed paraded in front of the firm - nice and discreet and caring.

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  • nice to see the recruitment/head-hunting industry has time on its hands this afternoon to post disruptive comments. the disgusting way it goes around trying to dislodge people is the only thing that makes toes curl!

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  • I'd be very worried if I was a fee earner at HK right now re the comment at 9.55am, obviously someone who knows the plan of action;

    'I also hope that the combined firm, upon merger, trims some of its fee earner headcount - there will be some duplications and there certainly are some fee earners around the edges who are not producing. Again, commercial sense.'

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  • True. So they learnt from being too transparent and still get kicked for trying to do the right thing? Is there any winning when it comes to the awful reality of redundancies? Of course not. Unless you have a better idea?

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  • Unbiased point of view here as I don't work in this industry. Redundancies should be made aware to "ALL" employees first, they shouldn't have to read it in the press. It's not rocket science!!!

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  • Micky Mouse firm

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  • This firm beggers belief. Hope they don't get rid of too many staff as I am in no doubt they will have trouble recruiting anybody to join them!

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  • There are no 'recruitment/head-hunters posting disruptive comments' these comments are the truth and maybe are proving a bit hard to swallow, shambles.

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  • Good luck FSI!

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  • The reputation of this firm will always be in ruins due to appalling treatment of staff. Current management aren't getting it right. Good luck FSI!

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  • They don't get it. The deadwood is the management not the poor devils who are and have already been made redundant. Think again FSI.

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  • Interesting comments. Do HK have any compassion? Anyone would think they enjoy humiliating their staff. Treating staff badly is as silly a mistake as treating clients badly, both have the potential to damage the business. Perhaps FSI will bring a refreshing change of approach.

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  • Dembovsky's door is always open. However he is guarded by 2 of his staff so good luck with that.

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  • Do FSI want to be tarred with same brush as HK regarding treatment of staff? Wouldn't merge if I was them.

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  • If the employment market was more stable there is no doubt that a vast majority of people within the firm would be looking for new jobs including myself but they seem to enjoy putting insurmountable pressure on their employees without any praise to achieve targets that are unrealistic. Morale is at an all time low and reading about OUR firm in the press before being told is basically a kick in the teeth and sums up our value.

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  • A total epic fail on every level, publicity first, employees as always with HK an after thought. The following was taken from an interview with Mark Dembovsky on Law and More. Maybe practice what you preach Mark;
    "I believe wholeheartedly in the value of transparency and openness amongst our staff"

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  • Howard Kennedy do not communicate with their staff and never have done they just dictate to them and never listen.
    Lets hope the merger changes this.
    Try listening to your staff for once you might learn something.
    The support staff at Howard Kennedy are good hard working decent people who do not desrve to be lied to by the CEO it was only 5 days ago he stated there is no need to move people on. I guess he already had the list in his back pocket when he made this annoucementl.
    BE HONEST WITH YOUR STAFF FOR ONCE.!!
    Perhaps the next lot of redundancies will be discovered in the Metro!!
    Why did the Equity Partners not take a pay cut themselves or at least reject their bonus for just one year.
    It is a terrible way to treat staff but this has always been the case. I would love to have my toes curled - do tell!!
    HAPPY XMAS CEO AND EQUITY PARTNERS!!!
    Lets hope the market changes soon!!!

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  • would not surprise me if those on the list found out themsleve via the lawyer before being consulted!!

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  • Lets hope the merger helps HK to learn some well needed management skills and start to treat their staff right rather than dictating and start listening to their staff.
    If the market was better i am sure staff would be well on their toes but HK really dont care as long as the pound note keeps rolling in for the equity partners they are happy.
    The list was already drawn up proir to the CEO's comment 19 November about no need to move people on. How about some honesty towards your hard working staff.
    FSI have a lot of work to do with HK's management skills.
    Equity Partners did you not think to take a drop in money yourself!!!

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  • To say that the redundancies are a standalone internal restructure and has nothing to do with the proposed merger is absolute tosh! What a half witted comment to make! Do HK think their staff are that stupid?

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  • Unbelievable that some of the 10 people concerned were only informed today. Five days after the press release. So unprofessional.

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  • 'Unprofessional' is an understatement. From what I have been reading about Howard Kennedy over the last few days they have to be one of the worst firms ever to work. Some management team!

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  • HK don't care about their staff at all. They treat them like robots, over working them and de-motivating them simultaneously. Apparently, some of the support staff up for redundancy have already gone. HK treated them exactly the same way last time it made redundancies, and it doesn’t matter what their PR department say, it doesn’t change the facts.
    On the upside, when HK and FSI do merge, hopefully HK will move into the FSI offices or a new modern office, which has to be nicer and have better facilities than the HK’s trench of an office.

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  • It beggars belief that they make this sort of announcement just before christmas - if they waited just one month they would spare the staff a wretched christmas and would it break the bank - really bad timing and poor judgement all round - this merger is doomed

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  • Fee earners your next at least you got to have turkey at xmas not like the poor hard workers who were made redundant before.
    Do you think equity partners care whether they make people redundant before xmas i dont think they do.
    Awful decision!!

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  • How appalling. When the market picks up they'll have no staff left. They don't know where they are going or what they are doing and seem to lack the most basic management skills. Good luck FSI staff!

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