Addleshaw Goddard cuts 24 fee-earner roles at end of consultation

Addleshaw Goddard has axed 24 fee-earner positions following its second round of redundancies in just over a year.

Paul Devitt
Paul Devitt

Managing partner Paul Devitt announced today that the roles have been cut in a bid to “rebalance” the firm’s front-line fee-earner resource.

The jobs have gone from across each of the firm’s UK offices in London, Leeds and Manchester. The redundancies do not affect the firm’s newly opened Singapore office.

The redundancies follow the admission in June that natural attrition rates had fallen among senior fee-earners (21 June 2012). In the five years to 30 April 2012, overall fee-earner numbers reduced from 490 to 437, but the two most senior fee-earner categories – managing associate and legal director – grew from 100 to 173.

In a statement, Devitt said: “We took the difficult decision, having previously avoided a fee-earner redundancy programme, to rebalance the shape and size of our front-line fee-earner resource to ensure that it’s a better fit for our business and more appropriately supports our long-term strength and competitiveness.

“It has, of course, been a difficult period for those affected by the consultation and we thank them for their understanding and great professionalism. We wish them well.”

The firm announced the redundancy programme at the same time as a 30 per cent rise in profits, from £34.4m in 2010-11 to £44.9m for 2011-12. Turnover was also up by five per cent, from £161.9m to £170m.

It is not thought that there are any similar plans to cut partner or support staff numbers after May 2011 redundancy talks ended in 40 jobs being cut from the firm’s business services teams. That was in response to a difficult 12 months, with a 17 per cent slump in net profit (24 May 2011).

As part of an ongoing streamlining of the firm’s management, Addleshaw Goddard has also slashed the number of hurdles that lawyers have to navigate to be promoted to the partnership (30 July 2012).