RJW: Hiring?

RJW: Hiring?It is refreshing to learn that while many firms are wielding the big redundancy axe, there are still firms that are trying to buck the trend and anticipate measured growth during the recession.

Russell Jones & Walker is one of them. RJW had its own slump in 2002, when it made 40 redundancies and shut a regional office in Leeds. Since then it has rebuilt itself as a personal injury powerhouse and in 2003 bought Claims Direct.

This has caused some tension in the RJW towers, and in the last year the firm has lost it’s family head Jeremy Abrahams (TheLawyer.com, 21 January), Manchester fraud head Neill Blundell to Eversheds and financial fraud star Judith Seddon to Clifford Chance.

All three would have been worthy equity partners, but since the 2002 restructure RJW has been reluctant to expand it’s equity and has preferred to concentrate on the growth of the PI practice.

Now it looks as though RJW’s 15 equity partners want to share the wealth and have added three to the equity partnership. Employment partners Paul Daniels and Julie Morris have been promoted along with PI partner Liz Dux.

Meanwhile the firm has taken Clyde & Co human resource director Mike Hannay and recruited PI partner Kimberly Owen from Davies Arnold Cooper, and Paul Sankyhas been promoted to partner in the PI practice.

When RJW made 40 redundancies six years ago, it was a courageous move which would either make or break the firm.

Kinsella will be pleased that the next time his firm bucked the hiring trend, it was in the right direction.