Large law firms in Australia feel the pinch

December 9, 2010 Large law firms in Australia have responded to increased foreign competition and deep cuts to profitability by cutting partner numbers and eliminating jobs, according to The Australian newspaper’s end-of-year survey of the 35 leading practices.

Only two of the nine biggest firms avoided cutting partner positions in the past year: Norton Rose and Mallesons Stephen Jaques. The remaining seven firms sheared 32 partner positions in that period.

Norton Rose was the standout practice among the largest firms in the Australian market, adding 27 fee-earners in the past year and increasing its partnership by two.

The Australian suggests that the trend of shrinkage among the biggest firms is caused by the continuing impact of the global financial crisis and the arrival in May of international practice Allen & Overy.

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