find the latest legal job
Banking Associate - 1-6PQE - Allen & Overy
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: United Kingdom
· Banking Associate - 1-6 PQE - Allen & Overy
View details
Academic Dean and Head of School of the TC Beirne School of Law
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· An outstanding opportunity · Provide educational, research and organisational leadership
View details
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: Arncliffe NSW 2205
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: Sydney NSW 2000
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
Exclusive: 27 staff forced out of mid-tier in major cutbacks

Exclusive: 27 staff forced out of mid-tier in major cutbacks

A prominent Australian firm is understood to have axed more than 20 personnel in a move that has rocked staff across its offices.

Lawyers Weekly understands that marching orders were given to 27 staff* of Henry Davis York yesterday.

It is not clear how many among those whose jobs HDY has axed are lawyers or legal support staff.

In response to queries about Tuesday’s sizeable lay off, the firm issued a statement which focused mostly on the need to innovate its business and offer clients value for money.

HDY did not directly address the matter of the 27 staff who had been fired, however alluded to “consultation decisions”, which the firm said it felt were necessary. The statement went on to describe the transformational environment HDY operated in and how the landscape of the legal market was requiring all law firms to evolve.

“Henry Davis York is always considering the best business model and operational structure to ensure we offer our clients value in this transformational environment. This is nothing new. We, like a number of peer firms, have constantly evolved and adapted in the last 100 years,” the firm said.

“We are embracing new delivery models and reinvigorating our business model to be more agile and allow for greater investment in areas of growth and efficiency.

“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.

HDY’s business has been subject to some recent media spotlight, following its discussions with Norton Rose Fulbright about a possible merger last November.

When Lawyers Weekly reached out to HDY about the widely speculated merger talks, the firm’s response was equally coy about any merger prospects with NRF.

A representative for HDY dismissed the notion of a NRF merger but then went on to later tell Fairfax’s Street Talk: “HDY, as should any law firm in the Australian legal market, talks to other firms all the time on a range of subjects”.

The national firm’s last major gutting was reported three years ago, with 13 personnel laid off, following a management decision that HDY said had been difficult. The 2014 axing affected eight administrative staff and five lawyers.

HDY remained tight-lipped about which of its offices in Brisbane, Canberra or Sydney had been affected.

According to the HDY website, the mid-tier currently has 47 partners across its three offices.

Just last week HDY had announced three new dispute resolution specialists would start with the firm in May.

*Update: Lawyers Weekly has received new information (4.5.17) that 25 staff have been let go by Henry Davis York in the most recent round of retrenchments. 

Like this story? Read more:

Book commemorates diamond milestone for WA law society

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

Exclusive: 27 staff forced out of mid-tier in major cutbacks
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Gavel, legal book, criminal lawyers
Jan 19 2018
Three criminal lawyers named NSW magistrates
The NSW Attorney-General has announced the appointment of three new local court magistrates. ...
Warning
Jan 18 2018
Lawyer highlights ‘unintended consequences’ on SSM estate planning
A succession lawyer has warned that the right for same-sex couples to legally marry could have a sub...
drug rehabilitation services available in rural and remote communities
Jan 18 2018
ALS survey shines spotlight on insufficient rehabilitation services
A new survey posted by the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) has revealed an alarming insight into ...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...