DWF is making an unknown number of PAs and business services staff redundant across its business.
As spokesman confirmed that, "As a part of our ongoing strategic review", it has begun a consultation process "with colleagues in admin and secretarial roles in England and Scotland". But he would not clarify how many roles would be axed.
The redundancy consultation is underway despite the firm recently releasing positive financial results. DWF posted a 10.9% increase in group revenue from £268.1m to £297.2m for the financial year ending 30 April 2020. In its market report, the firm trumpeted the growth notwithstanding the "significant Q4 COVID-19 impact."
Reading between the lines, it had a less cheery tone. "Further measures" are needed "post year-end to rationalise underperforming units", stated DWF, which looks very much like to be management-speak for 'redundancies'.
CEO Sir Nigel Knowles, who took over from the ousted Andrew Leaitherland, also hinted in the market update about DWF wielding the axe, saying the firm had "focused on consolidating our existing operations to increase profitability, delivering cost efficiencies and improving lock-up and cash generation". Which could be interpreted as the firm reducing costs to boost its share price. It's one reason law firms are nervous to float, knowing they will have to battle with the competing demands of expectant shareholders, and staff who need money, motivation...and a job.
Other firms have also started slashing jobs during the pandemic, including Irwin Mitchell, Reed Smith, Dorsey & Whitney, Brethertons and Fladgate. With the government's furlough scheme finishing at the end of October, others may well follow suit.