Mallesons Stephen Jaques staff were today informed that the firm has called for "expressions of interest" for voluntary redundancies, with the aim of cutting 100 staff in September 2009.
The email was circulated this afternoon by chief executive partner Robert Milliner, asking staff to submit their expressions of interest for the program no later than the end of August, with the firm then determining exactly how many people will be accepted for redundancy and who.
Staff were told the firm expected voluntary redundancies for approximately 100 staff, but that it would "retain discretion as to which positions are ultimately accepted for voluntary redundancy, so not everyone who expresses interest will have their nomination accepted".
A total of 100 staff would amount to about 5 per cent of Mallesons' entire staffing base.
A spokesperson told Lawyers Weekly that the firm was confident that at least 100 employees would put their hands up for the voluntary redundancy program - noting the precedent Allens Arthur Robinson set in making more than 100 voluntary redundancies at financial year's end and also the fact that, by the numbers, the target requires only a small percentage of the firm to make the move.
Milliner told staff the decision had not been taken lightly, and followed a board meeting this month to review the firm's forecast for the next 24 months. "During this meeting there were detailed discussions about the available options to address the matching of workflow trends with the firm's capability and capacity and a decision was taken to offer voluntary redundancies," he said.
"The partners see it as a responsible approach to balance our workflows and our number of lawyers and support staff."
While the firm's spokesperson preferred not to comment on the details of what the redundancy packages would include, she said that staff would have access to an intranet site to obtain more information.
- Angela Priestley