Firms give out New York holiday as Xmas present

Firms give out New York holiday as Xmas presentManchester firms JS Miller and Geoffrey Miller Solicitors have defied the credit crunch and taken all staff on holiday to New York for a Christmas party.

The move bucks the trend of law firms cancelling Christmas parties in response to the economic downturn.

Jeanette Miller, senior partner of both firms, said: “I promised this trip at the beginning of the year, it has maintained morale and motivation in the office.”

Meanwhile Scottish firm Dickson Minto is breaking with tradition and scrapping the yuletide event. Senior partner Alastair Dickson said: “Although there are a number of firm festive celebrations we did not believe it would be appropriate in this economic climate to have a formal party as such.”

Olswang announced earlier this year it would not hold a Christmas party nor give out an annual bonus to staff (, 12 September 2008).

Others which are holding Christmas parties will mostly be holding scaled down versions.

Allen & Overy’s New York office scaled back its Christmas party this year, moving festivities from a more flashy Manhattan venue to the more sober confines of its offices (, 8 December 2008). In the UK the firm opts for departmental drinks over a firm-wide event, as it claims that it is unable to find a venue big enough to house all its employees in one go.

Pinsent Masons managing partner David Ryan said: “Its all about balance and tone, we will hold individual parties in each of our offices and it will be decent but we’re not serving Krug champagne. Parties at times like this are important, but they shouldn’t be extravagant.”

Cobbetts decided to go ahead with its Christmas party last week despite having recently made 62 members of staff redundant. One partner said: “You don’t want to be seen to be celebrating given the redundancy programme, but you want to thank those that are there, so it’s a balancing act.”

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