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Top firm spent millions on redundancies

Top firm spent millions on redundancies

A major firm has spent almost $112m during the last financial year on its redundancy program and partnership restructuring.

INTERNATIONAL law firm Clifford Chance has spent almost £60m (AUD$112m) during the last financial year on its redundancy program and partnership restructuring.


The details were released in the firms 2008-09 annual report released yesterday in the UK, reports Legal Week. 


The report shows the firm paid out some £59m (AUD$111m) in restructuring costs relating to the overhaul of its partnership. The figure also includes expenses relating to the June closure of the firm’s Hungarian office and other annuity costs.


Clifford Chance announced it was restructuring its partnership in February this year, capping the losses at 15 per cent of its global equity partnership. In addition to partner retrenchments, the firm also shed some 350 fee earner and support staff positions, predominantly in the UK and USA offices.

 

The cuts were in response to the global economic downturn which saw legal firms make massive staff reductions. 


Total revenues at the firm dropped by five per cent from £1.329bn (AUD$2.49billion) to £1.262bn (AUD$2.37bn). Revenue in the UK and Gulf regions dipped to £500m (AUD$938m), representing a £63m (AUD$118m) drop from the previous year, while US revenues fell by nearly £30m (AUD$56m) to £143m(AUD$282m) down from £172m (AUD$322m). 


However, despite the losses, Clifford Chance had £163m (AUD$305m) in the bank at the end of the financial year - £14m (AUD$26m) more than at the same point last year.


Other details contained within the financial statements include an injection of capital from the partnership worth £61m (AUD$115m), in line with the firm’s decision earlier this year to ask partners to contribute up to £150,000 (AUD$281,000) each in capital. 

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