Law firm Maddocks plans to cut partner profits in an effort to retain staff in the downturn, while also saving more than $1 million in discretionary expenditures, CEO David Rennick told Lawyers Weekly on Tuesday.
While the firm's revenue is up by about 10 per cent on last year, partners will take a lesser share of the profits - which will not be an "insignificant" number - in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the business, said Rennick.
"Partners have made a conscious decision to do what we can and make all the decisions we can to retain our people, and that includes being prepared to take a profit cut this year ..." he said.
"We're putting a lot of effort into building our revenue - focusing on the areas on government, infrastructure, financial services and services which are our major sectors - so the very last thing we'll need to do is to lay off people and we have been able to achieve that thus far."
Discretionary expenditure cuts have included procedural changes to the use of taxis, stationery requirements, catering, subscriptions, the use of consultants, some sponsorships and marketing, and conducting more training internally.
Rennick said the firm cannot guarantee that people will not be made redundant, but that over the last eight months a dozen staff members had been moved into busier practice areas such as insolvency, litigation and employment law. He said recruitment is also being considered.
"For example, we're really busy in our employment area and now contemplating recruiting in that area ... and in litigation we've just hired someone new in there as well," he said.
Flexible work options, such as a nine-day fortnight or four-day week, are also being used by the firm and discussions about job sharing have been held.
- Sarah Sharples
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