Justinian Has The Scoop

Ok -not quite the scoop. But they did a post on Friday about the way that Australian law firms are handling the way they sack people..

We might as well use the word. To be honest we are sick of "Layoff" "Redundancy" "Re-alignment" blah blah and the comments to the Justinian post suggest that everybody else is getting sick of the shillyshallying. It’s about time to call a spade a spade seems to be the general feling out there.

Justinian write:

Fire away!

Feedback on law firm firings rolls in … Which firms are handing out pink slips … How many are going … How is the process is being handled? Spiky comments galore

We’ve invited insights into how law shops, great and small, are handling the GFC.

Some stoically insist nothing has changed with the world … and if it has they not going to tell anyone.

Others furiously hand out pink slips in the hope that life will return to “normal”.

The important thing is how these traumatic events are handled. Are the brutes or the sensitives ones in charge of the asylum?

Add to the comments below. All are anonymous, so employers (prospective or otherwise) will never know your contribution to the greater pond of human knowledge.

Fire away.

It’s the comments though that we should pay attention to. There are some angry Australian lawyers out there and at long last we are beginning to see that the firms are not going to be able to avoid the reality of dealing with the downturn and the reality that their staff might just happen to belong to the same species…

Gilbert + Tobin …There are a number of nervous partners – a visit from Danny, especially unannounced, is particularly unwelcome currently. The Marketing behemoth is actually getting a little smaller but HR is as bloated as ever.
Posted by: Anonymous
Date: March 11, 2009, 5:33 am

The mood at Mallesons seems pretty upbeat — one of the partners told me the other day (after a few drinks) that the firm would not be retrenching or cutting back on grad recruitment but would simply allow itself to lose staff through the usual attrition rate.

At Allens Arthur Robinson, the partnership is handling things with their usual ineptitude.

Complete and total incompetence, by some retrenched top-tier solicitors… It was 4:30 in the afternoon and I was summoned to a meeting with HR. Present were an assistant HR do-girl (young enough to be my daugther) and a slightly more senior member of the HR team. Not a soul from my practice group was anywhere to be found. I was told by the junior HR girl that I was being "made redundant". Not quite sure how that works, since I still feel the same as a person,…. I definitely have a bitter twisted view of the law firm I once loved and was proud to tell people I worked for, but the reality is that the firm chose to act opportunistically, when they could have chosen to act with an understanding that with respect to the downturn, we are all in this together.

Kim Hennessy has had crisis talks with himself, his CFO and his whole PR and HR teams. For the moment,while he may have to reduce the size of his premises, he has decided not to let himself go. You will be the first to hear if the worst happens. Anon.

I understand Dibbs welcomed back a number of lawyers in early January … and then made them redundant.

My information is that many of the big firms around town are operating at half capacity.

A friend of mind in the junior ranks of Clutz was downsized on a Friday afternoon a few weeks ago. It wasn’t done with an abundance of sensitivity.