Numerous reports from the UK and the US about cutbacks during a slowdown in transactional work are also affecting big Australian law firms with reports of cutbacks there.
Tow biglaw firms – Clyde & Co and MinterEllison – had made redundancies to certain back-office roles in June and the reductions continued with reports that Clyde & Co has confirmed that 10 non-partner fee earners have left the firm’s Australian practice.
“As with all large, successful and professionally managed global businesses, we constantly review our performance and operations to ensure that our teams and practices are of the right size and shape to effectively and profitably meet the changing needs of our clients around the world,” a Clyde & Co spokesperson said.
The firm employs 500 staff in Australia.
“While losing people from our firm is never easy, we always ensure that colleagues are supported as they seek new opportunities, and they always depart with our best wishes and thanks.”
Norton Rose Fulbright has also made a number of redundancies
“We have completed a review of our business services teams and functions, which identified a need for those functions to more efficiently meet the requirements of the firm,” a firm spokesperson told legal website LawyersWeekly.
“The broader economic and market conditions have caused businesses across many industries to make similar adjustments to ours,” the NRF spokesperson continued.
“We are planning ahead by investing in areas of strategic growth and opportunity, and this is why we have made a number of partner appointments this year across projects and construction, regulatory litigation, financial crime, government and corporate M&A.”
Elsewhere, national plaintiff firm Maurice Blackburn has also had to make staffing changes recently across various roles.
According to a firm spokesperson: “Over the pandemic, our workforce increased to ensure clients’ needs were met during an unprecedented time of crisis. Now as we emerge from the COVID years, the firm has restructured its workforce to be similar in size to what it was before the pandemic.”
“Impacted employees have been redeployed where possible, and as one of the few law firms [that] operates under an enterprise agreement, employees who have left the firm received generous redundancy payments. We support hybrid working and to continue to provide exceptional client experiences.”
It has also been reported that BigLaw firm Clayton Utz recently undertook an internal review, which resulted in redundancies both to the firm’s back office and among fee-earners.