Trowers names new UAE chief for embattled Middle East practice

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  • Mutawi is a smart man and understands the Gulf.

    Other partners represent the heart of Trowers' problems in the region.

    Local clients have become more sophisticated and want more than overpaid, quasi-colonial drinking buddies as their lawyers.

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  • Is this the news that is supposed to act as a circuit-breaker after 6 months of negative headlines?

    Trowers is, I suppose, at least attempting to address one of the key problems they have - a silo mentality across the MENA offices. But it cannot be seen other than as a vote of no confidence in the current non-senior equity RMPs. What role for them now? Or perhaps it is time for Andrew and Nick to join the other redundant Trowers' lawyers in greener pastures.

    And I really do wonder when Amison will address the Saudi situation. The local partner has been given notice and there is a single associate with no support manning the phone in Riyadh. Surely it is time to come clean and admit that the Saudi practice has gone and only the Trowers' carpetbaggers from Bahrain, Dubai and London will be seen near Saudi deals.

    Yesterday's firm clinging on to past glories.

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  • The first sensible move that Trowers has made in a long time. Yet adding another partner is not going to solve any problems unless Mutawi has enough authority to clear out the dead wood. Good luck to him - he will need it.

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  • Agree completely with Anon 1:45 pm. Unless AM can push out several obsolete Gulf partners, the numbers simply won't add up for Trowers.

    In Dubai they've just lost one of their last Corporate associates.

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  • AM is a great choice. He will make a difference but he has a massive challenge ahead of him; morale, recruiting loyal associates, convincing the clients that JB, NW and AR are not running the show, he is! Good luck to him.

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  • Any form of leadership would be progress

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  • Why on earth would Trowers want to recruit "loyal associates" when it has just sacked a whole bunch of them.

    A lot of associates came out of last year's international conference in a positive frame of mind regarding their futures at Trowers. Many have since been sacrificed at the altar of PEP.

    It would be rank hypocrisy for Trowers to now say it is short-staffed and needs to recruit - but wait, that is what Amison did say in another article on The Lawyer. Silly me.

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  • I do hope they can work things out. Us associates have had enough of the explicit and implicit bullying.

    Cut backs, salaries now 20% lower than market and very low morale. As soon as something better comes along, we'll all be off. Some partners are on fantasy island - "we're doing great"/"we have such history" blah blah! Honestly, wake up and smell the dates and coffee.

    Bullying can go so far. As Stalin use to say, freedom of course everybody has freedom. All were just damn scared to say anything.

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  • Why has this story disappeared from the News section?

    Can it be that Trowers can't take some honest criticism or do they think that we should all be nice and quiet and let them treat people like statistics?

    Sorry lads. What goes around comes around.

    And as for Mutawi, I would say that his antics are likely to see Trowers before the Employment Tribunal when it is time for trainee retention, unless they are planning on 100% retention in an effort to boost their depleted offices.

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  • One third of the staff in of our office have resigned this year alone. Scared I am abandoned on a sinking ship.

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  • snore..

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  • To all who posted a comment here,

    To be clear, this is not a HOTLINE for you to spit out a complaint or your personal issue. If you have some of these, why don't you knock on the door of T&H and say so to their faces. Frankly, this is getting more and more childish and it is sad to think some people are wasting their precious time.

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  • Hey Jonesy

    What gives you the right to tell anyone what to do? Do you own this website? Is anyone forcing you to read this?

    Sounds like typical Trowers' arrogance to me.

    For the record, can you tell me whether anyone in the management of Trowers bothered talking face to face to the victims of their sinking PEP before they lowered the boom. After committing to a value of communication at the international conference, did any of the international partners communicate their intentions to can a large number of international associates. Did they knock on our doors and speak face to face.

    I look forward to hearing from you on this one.

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  • Anonymouse, I sincerely doubt you'll get anything remotely related to a measured response from "Jonsey".

    Jonsey, you sound like a Trower's flunky who's been sent forth. It is ironic that you describe a number of measured posts as "childish" when your post is the very definition of that word.

    Trowers was in my opinion, a middling firm that had a couple of good years when thing were booming. They got caught up believing in their own legend and now they're back to being a middling firm.

    Their "mainstream" departments are not particularly well regarded, and they have rested on the laurels of a particular demographic of clients and a couple of departments for rather too long. It's all too clear now unfortunately.

    I doubt the surge of opinion that takes place when Trowers hits the headlines would take quite the shape it does, had they treated the people they dismissed so casually in a remotedly acceptable manner. However, given the nature of the people within the firm who are responsible for the handling these dismissals, it's hardly suprising.

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  • Jonsey, you will find that speaking with Trowers management gets you no response. It is that treatment that causes people to vent on this HOTLINE. Perhaps then they will take note. It is amazing how a firm can get it so spectacularly and consistently wrong.

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  • What a shame! Once upon a time - in the not too distant past - T&H was actually a good firm to work for. It stood for good environment, work life balance and genuine care for its people...

    Then along came the winds of change with new ideas and people..and all sounded good at the time...However, there was one flaw, Trowers endeavours to emulate competitors came at the expense of the firm's soul and humility.

    I am afraid shuffling people around wont do it for you and your partners Jonsey...what you need to be doing now is to ask each other tough and honest questions about what does T&H stand for....

    One of such honest questions is why does T&H get such negative press every timethe firm's name hits the news? can all these people be disgruntled ex-employees who lost objectivity..I doubt!

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  • @ Skeptic - I agree with you. I meant associates who are loyal to him and believe in his turnaround plan.

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  • I remember it as if it was yesterday:

    1st Appraisal: Doing a great job and prospects looking good;

    2nd Appraisal: Excellent performance. Ready to take your career at Trowers to the next level.

    One month later: Firm's financial performance poor. We're terribly sorry, but....

    How exactly is one supposed to respond to such treatment? I suppose Jonesy would say take it on the chin and keep a stiff upper lip, old chap.

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  • Commenting on news articles (other than this comment of course) about Trowers in the ME in the Lawyer can be compared to is photographing the lingerie shop windows in the Dubai Mall. Its not right, but there's plenty of people that do it - and if you put yourselves in their shoes, you can see why they do it.

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  • @Mena

    What a peculiar comment.

    So now the Trowers' apologists want us to believe that there is something morally reprehensible about making negative comments about the firm.

    What absolute rubbish.

    I suppose throwing people out on the street without regard for their performance is upstanding moral conduct by your standards. What a warped life-view you have and one that is indicative of Trowers' thinking about its employees.

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  • There are some very obvious people in the firm who are responsible for the decision making and the department that gives the legal advice surrounding redundancy. They should be the ones that get the majority of the flack. There's a lot of protection of very little equity going on, not to mention using redundancy to eject people who might not exactly be redundant. In fact, I'm pretty sure that redundancy has been used to eject individuals followed by a swift hire a little while later. Pathetic.

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  • Oh dear.

    I cannot give any credence whatsoever to comments by (supposedly) educated ex-Trowers employees who have no grasp over when and when not to use a possessive apostrophe when using the firm's name.

    Perhaps, if your drafting skills were not so poor, you would have been retained?

    Complain about Trowers all you that want, but going by the inarticulate half-wits that seem to spend all of their free time commenting on here, many are lucky to have had the opportunity to work somewhere other than Burger King.

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  • I have been watching these comments with interest, sympathy (and some amusement) but this post by “Denny” is sheer quality for how ironic it is and I just had to comment. The quality of his response is about as measured and learned as the comments he purports to criticize. At least the other contributors had a valid view (based on facts it would appear ) to put forward, however coloured by their own negative experiences, or experiences of those they know. Denny’s comment lacks even that basic element of fact and is just the kind of knee-jerk, hypocritical, low level reaction that make people laugh at the writer and confirms that the bar for entry in Trowers isn't quite as high as he would like to flatter himself to think. I'd bet that if the boot were on the other foot, he'd be commenting about how terrible the firm is left, right and centre with about as little class as he had shown already. His lack of any sympathy or empathy is rather sad.

    Fact: Trowers is doing badly. Fact: they seem to have made people redundant with very little care as to how they did it. Fact: there is no smoke without fire. Fact: “Denny” will probably think finding a typo or grammatical error in this post or posts to follow, automatically makes him right.

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  • Mr Denny

    So, you're the best that Trowers could come up with! Honestly, the least the firm could do is try and admit the fact that they got it wrong.

    I'm going now to give some free advice to the Trowers management. They're likely to pay a consultant thousands for it, but I'll give it to you for free. It appears that the management does not listen to its associates but pays a lot of attention to the comments on here. Just 3 points really (I think a senior Trowers partner likes things in 3)

    1. Increase salaries
    Fact: the salaries are not market.
    Why: Since the cuts last year (flights, club and utilities) associates are being paid approx 20% less to what they would get elsewhere. It's starting to affect motivation.
    If not: Think about it this way - when things get busy we're not going to be working late. Some don't already!

    2. Start Promoting from within
    Fact: Everybody knows a senior associate is leaving to join another firm as a "partner". Why on earth didn't Trowers make that person up?
    Why: Reward hard work and become a meritocracy. There are so many hard working lawyers at Trowers who simply don't get rewarded, or promoted, because of some idiot manager/partner who doesn't see talent and prefers to see a threat (blah blah - you know the rest). When promoting, make sure it's the right person and not someone who sucks up to management - it's really simple.
    If not: The firm will become a place nobody wants to go to - law firms are defined by its people. It's only a matter of time before clients start noticing.

    3. Clear the dead wood
    Fact: It's clear that some practices do not make any money.
    Why: Why bother with them? Sure, these people did indeed contribute when it mattered. However, they've passed their sell by date so .. come on, be fair. Stop chopping at the bottom. Think about the future and consider who, at the top, needs to go. Who doesn't contribute, who is too busy with other things - who simply doesn't bring in any work? Some people need to go.
    If not: The firm will never change and I am afraid the brand will be damaged. You still have a chance to save things.

    That's it - really is easy.

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  • This sounds like dla piper circa 2009.

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  • Yes, Denny's post was remarkable. I can imagine senior management at Trowers sitting around deciding on redundancies based on the victim's ability to follow the rules for forming the possessive singular or plural.

    Interesting that all 3 posts that support Trowers have directed their caustic wit at the character of the people writing to air their feelings about the firm. I was taught at law school to deal with the issues, but perhaps they don't teach that any more.

    A very sad state of affairs it is.

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  • Not sure what is going on at Trower's - look's like a right mess - but great fun for spectator's on the comment's page. One question about thi's punctuation thingy: why would Trower's rely on Burger King to sort it out, rather than a spot of in house-training??

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  • In the warped mind of Denny, it seems that the next step up from flipping burgers at BK is to be an associate of Trowers & Hamlins.

    Presumably, all of those made redundant by Trowers have now gone back to their former profession and are writing comments to the Lawyer while preparing a Mushroom Swiss or two.

    With reasoning like that, Denny must be one of the magic 25 at senior equity.

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  • for a law firm to be attractive you need to have at least one of the following:

    1. Good work
    2. Good pay
    3. Good conditions
    4. Good training.
    5. Good prospects for good pay even if its not good now.

    If you dont have these, then it is difficult to recruit good people. Its not hard to recruit any old person (or to get rid of people), but when you're charging a few hundred dollars an hour, most want good people. As the good people move on and are replaced by average people (as why would anyone in their right mind choose to go there at the moment), then the rot sets in.

    From what I have seen, T&H have gone from an ME heavyweight from times when there was not an awful lot of competition to being a firm that's best known ME legal circles for the disenfranchisement of its staff and the antics of a few senior lifers who hold their 'meetings' in bars like the seaview hotel and run the place like the ME is still a backwater rather than a massive regional hub; and others who are strictly part time some of the time, and the remainder of the time they're keen to ensure that bright young things from the lesser ranks would rather leave than upset the status quo.

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