"Welcome! We do have to clear out by three for Izzy's 7th birthday party."
Kingsley Napley has pulled off the difficult trick of telling its lawyers they’ve had a terrific year, but sadly there’s no money for bonuses, and now they should catch buses instead of cabs and stop wining and dining clients at fancy restaurants.
Management congratulated staff in an email this week for growing revenue by 11%, which it said meant Kingsley Napley had outperformed the wider legal market by 4%, according to the Office of National Statistics.
Despite revenues of £62m falling short of management's £66m target, the increase represented “really strong” growth which was “of course all due to your hard work and commitment – thank you to everyone”, the firm told staff.
Unfortunately it wasn't quite enough. "Our profits will be significantly lower than we budgeted to achieve”, continued the email, mainly due to "significant investments in increasing our partner numbers”.
“I’m afraid it is unlikely therefore that we will be able to distribute a firmwide bonus this December, and, if we able to do so, it will be very modest”, continued the email.
A source told a shocked ROF that some staff weren't that happy about all the cash they'd earned going on costly new partners, instead of themselves, but perhaps the other belt-tightening measures implemented by Kingsley Napley will distract them.
Staff have been told they should get buses instead of taxis when they travel at the firm's expense to events, courts, and meetings, according to a source. And that they should take clients to "normal restaurants".
A spokesperson for Kingsley Napley said, "We have indeed been investing for growth and like many firms at the moment, we are taking prudent steps to manage our cost base".
Quite right. A few completion celebrations at Wagamamas instead of the Wolseley, a handful of journeys to the RCJ on the 76 with ten boxes of litigation documents, and it will quickly recoup that cash.