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Sydney takes the hit in HDY sacking

New information has emerged about Henry Davis York’s decision to retrench more than 20 staff this week.  

user iconMelissa Coade 04 May 2017 Corporate Counsel
Sydney takes the hit in HDY sacking
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Henry Davis York has confirmed that 25 staff members have been retrenched this week.

HDY’s Sydney office has suffered the full force of the firm’s decision to let people go.

Of the 25 staff that HDY has cast off, six fee-earning lawyers have been sacked.


Business support personnel make up the remaining 19 staff that were fired from the Australian mid-tier firm.

No HDY partners were retrenched in this week’s cut.

Late last night, a firm representative verified that HDY had now finalised its consultations with the ousted group from Sydney.

The official number of laid off personnel at HDY, over 7 per cent of its total Sydney workforce, is two less than the 27 job losses that Lawyers Weekly originally reported.

Lawyers Weekly asked the firm about the circumstances of the sacking, however HDY said it was not yet in a position to comment further.

At this stage it appears that the HDY Sydney office has suffered the full brunt of job cuts, with about six per cent of its lawyers and 12 per cent of the business support team in Sydney given the boot. Before the sackings, HDY's Sydney office boasted a team of 346 people. 

No indication was given as to whether HDY’s other two offices in Brisbane and Canberra could also expect job losses.  

The mid-tier firm is governed by a board of five people, led by managing partner Michael Greene.

A sustainability report issued by the firm three years ago put HDY’s total partner headcount at 49, with a national total of 330 staff. Those HDY staff numbers are from 2014, just before Mr Greene took the reins from Sharon Cook.

A statement offered by the law firm yesterday said HDY was involved in a program to “reinvigorate” its business model. The statement suggested that this new growth program of the firm, whose clientele are from the financial services and government sectors, involved laying off staff.

“In implementing this program, we are consulting with some of our colleagues about their roles in the firm this week.

“These consultation decisions were not taken lightly and were necessary to ensure the firm’s future success,” the statement said.

The firm's spokesperson said that HDY has “made some difficult decisions which resulted in a number of roles being made redundant”.

“These decisions were not taken lightly,” she said.

With the question as to whether more redundancies can be expected in the Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra offices, others are speculating about whether HDY’s staff cuts are the precursor to a future merger with another firm.

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