‘The Great Resignation could be followed by a Great Redundancy,’ DWF chief says
A downturn in the legal market could see widespread layoffs in the City’s top-ranking law firms, the head of London listed law firm DWF told City A.M.
The lawyers that jumped ship in “big numbers” in pursuit of six-figure salaries in London’s most prestigious firms could soon be laid off, as the top firms make seek to cut costs by making redundancies on a “first in, first out” basis, DWF chief executive Sir Nigel Knowles said.
“The Great Resignation might be followed by a Great Redundancy,” Sir Nigel told City A.M.
However, Sir Nigel said DWF’s status as listed firm helps it recruit and retain talent, due to the fact it is able to offer its workforce share options before they hit partner level, as he argued DWF may “benefit” from layoffs in other major firms.
He explained that DWF’s heavy weighting towards litigation puts it in a strong position to weather any slump. “In harder times, people litigate more, so we tend to do well in a recession,” Sir Nigel said.
The company chief said DWF’s focus on the insurance sector also acts to hedge the firm against recessions.
The comments come after DWF yesterday upped its dividend after posting “sustainable” growth in revenues of 3.8 per cent, compared to the previous year.
The group’s higher revenues in turn saw the integrated professional services firm’s adjusted profits before tax increase by 21.1 per cent to heights of £41.4m for the financial year 2021/22.
Looking forwards, the law firm also said it plans to cut costs by reducing its office space, with a view to “addressing” a third of the £28m in costs associated with its properties.
The plans could see it cut the space it has in the City of London’s “walkie-talkie” building and downsize its offices elsewhere.