DMH Stallard has made 35 staff redundant as a result of the impact of Covid, while Shoosmiths is looking to cut as many as 52 employees.

DMH Stallard, which employs around 240 people, stressed that only one compulsory redundancy was made and that it received 34 volunteers when it embarked on the process in June. 

Managing Partner Richard Pollins said the volunteers were offered "generous severance packages", which is just as well given the state of the job market when they leave this month.

Pollins described how, in March, DMH Stallard "faced an unprecedented crisis and considerable uncertainty" and that work levels "dropped quickly", initially by over 30%. 

DMH Stallard reduced partner drawings, cut bonuses and furloughed just over 100 employees, topping up their pay to 80% where the government scheme fell short.

When the end of year financials in June came through, they were "better than expected", said Pollins, though a 10% drop in revenue on the year before. So the firm increased its bonus pot for employees and fixed share partners by 200% on the amount previously reserved, and paid £500 compensation to each of the furloughed staff. 

But pay cuts will remain in place for staff, said Pollins, while 20% of partners’ drawings will be retained "subject to performance".

And furloughed staff being made redundant will miss out on the £500 comp, said a source, because they're off on 31 October and the payment is being made on 1 November. 

Shoosmiths is also making job cuts and has placed 52 roles at risk, mostly affecting those in business services.

It announced the plans after "identifying more efficient ways of working in recent months during the coronavirus pandemic". It said that the firm’s performance "remained strong".

“Our aim is to avoid compulsory redundancies wherever possible", said the firm in a statement. "We are mindful this is a difficult time for all individuals and we will continue to support all colleagues during this time”.

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Anonymous 16 October 20 10:04

Firms try to manage lawyers out rather than have redundancy programmes because the adverse publicity really poisons the recruitment process and shows the market that they are losing business. The fact that a firm tries to hide lawyer redundancies behind business services shows how embarrassed they are.

Anonymous 16 October 20 10:43

Yep. I know a few lawyers being managed out the back door - not because they are bad at what they do but because their face doesn't quite fit the corporate mould. Pretty horrific to witness. 

Anon 16 October 20 18:10

@10:43 - See it too, including some peeps with years at the firm - horrific  as you said

S&G Mole 16 October 20 23:29

Anonymous 09:55:  I have a feeling in my water that Slaters will be making mass redundancies soon.  They don't want to be a law firm after all see  - Gazette article of 5th November.

Anonymous 17 October 20 09:25

From my weary experience, my firm (which is one of the above) tries the following:

1. "Take a pay cut else you're first in line for redundancy"

2. "Your pay cut wasn't enough, we have to reduce headcount - better for you to look in the job market now while you still have a job to move from. It's easier to find a job if you've got a job."

3. "You don't fit in here. It's not the right job or the right firm for you. Your work's rubbish and you're useless. Look, we'll pay you a bit more than redundancy to let you go, but your performance record means we might have to have to go through disciplinary."

4. "Oh f*ck it, the business is turning to shit and we're over-lawyered. It makes no sense to have lawyers and support staff as part of the same redundancy programme, but we can bury bad news."

I have been through 1-3 - imagine being in my shoes.

Anon 18 October 20 08:56

Shouldn't DMH be paying government back for the furloughed money they have skimmed off to help their profits. This type of thing makes me so angry. Apologies if they have but it has not been reported.

Billy Butler 18 October 20 09:11

Amazingly S&G have avoided any mentions in the legal press on the redundancies they have carried out over Covid.

How many solicitors left? 

Anonymous 23 October 20 07:33

S&G have just made a number of partners and senior associates from the employment team as well as a number of support staff redundant - they’ve announced internally that they are on “extended leave”

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