REDUNDANCY talks are on the horizon at Pinsent Masons, after the firm announced a turnover rise of just one per cent in the last financial year.
The top 100 international law firm, also ranked in the top 15 UK firms, reported a turnover of 215million pounds (AUD$430m) for the financial year up from £213m (AUD$426m) in the 2007-08.
Despite the increase, UK magazine The Lawyer reports that managing partner, David Ryan, is confident that redundancies will now be impossible to avoid.
The firm has over 275 partners and nearly 1,000 lawyers worldwide, with a total staff of 1600. Ryan wrote to staff yesterday with a seven-point plan that laid out proposals for part-time working arrangements and sabbaticals, increasing staff deployment between offices, increasing client secondments, reducing costs, implementing a pay freeze and making job losses.
In six weeks’ time the firm will review how many jobs will need to be cut. Ryan would not state the anticipated total number, but confirmed that it would be “minimal” and based upon “a capacity rather than a costs perspective”.
He said: “We’ve trialled part-time working and sabbaticals and several people have taken it up. Now everyone can take it up according to client and business needs. It could be short-term sabbaticals - even one week at the end of a transaction.”
The firm’s annual July 1 pay review has also been suspended for 12 months and newly-qualified lawyers starting in September 2009 will earn less money than what is currently offered.
The firm has experienced a strong performance in outsourcing, technology and commercial and projects, said Ryan, however, it has been challenging in other areas of the business such as real estate and corporate law. The firm has yet to announce a profit figure, although this is expected to be less than last year.