Offshore firm Harneys has made associates, paralegals and secretaries redundant during the COVID-19 pandemic, RollOnFriday understands. But on the other hand, it now has a dedicated ASS Unit.
Despite boasting in a March press release that it was "the lodestar of the offshore litigation landscape" within Asia, in the last few days the firm has quietly let go of associates, paralegals and business services staff, said sources. One put the total number of employees culled across the firm's, BVI, Hong Kong and Singapore offices at 25.
Harneys "is a compete panic zone", said a source. "It’s a nightmare here... and nobody knows who is next", they said.
Harneys knows how to distract from the axe.
Another offshore firm, Collas Crill, is understood to have taken similarly drastic measures. Alongside pay cuts for lawyers it has also made a number of support staff redundant, said a source.
But there is a crack of light for Harneys, at least. In November the firm established an 'Asia Special Situations Unit'. Harneys' new ASS Unit has a restructuring and insolvency focus, which means it should be well-placed to make some booty as local businesses crap out.
Neither firm responded to requests for comment, not even about the bum squad.