Chopping off heads

Chopping off headsAddleshaw Goddard is aiming to bring down headcount by around 90 over the coming year. At the end of last financial year the firm had 1,425 members of staff.

It has already gone some way to meeting that objective by slashing 16 jobs this summer, the biggest single number since 2005 (, 13 October 2008).

The firm acted quite quickly as compared with competitors such as DLA Piper, Eversheds and Wragge & Co, some of which were looking at redundancies before the summer hols, but waited until after the break to take a decision.

The reason behind the timing in Addleshaws’ case is that the firm wanted to bring the individuals off the payroll during the first quarter, so as to take the cost off its balance sheet as early as possible.

One can only hope that for those that lost their jobs, it might have been slightly easier to get new ones prior to the Lehman collapse and the domino effect of job losses at firms that has coloured the last three months.

Over the coming months Addleshaws is also going to cut headcount by managing staff out via regular performance reviews. There is nothing new to this. Management consider it part of business as usual. And it has something of an unsentimental reputation among some of the smaller firms in its north-west heartland on this matter.

The difference this year is that the firm will not be replacing those who are leaving, nor making budgeted recruitment.

So it’s probably not somewhere to go knocking on the door if you are out in the job market.