Ashurst announces its Stronger Together programme in response to deteriorating economic conditions

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    The measures are formulated around three key objectives:

    • Ensuring the health and wellbeing of the global Ashurst community
    • Protecting job security for our people
    • Serving the needs of our clients and the communities in which we operate

    "The health crisis we are seeing in the countries where we operate is unprecedented," said Paul Jenkins, Global Managing Partner of Ashurst.  "We're all trying to do the best we can to navigate the very different world we now find ourselves in."

    "As a global business, Ashurst like many others is affected by the economic disruption being caused by Covid-19. We start from a solid financial position and so far across the firm, our activity is holding up well in the circumstances. We are looking ahead in a responsible way however, and must anticipate that given the global economic slowdown we may see less activity in the markets in which we operate. As such, we are managing our business prudently in case the impact is protracted. We believe the measures we are putting in place are in the best interests of the whole firm and will assist in ensuring we maintain outstanding service to clients and our strong performance of recent years."

    The firm's workforce is operating virtually, with teams across the globe fully operational and continuing to serve the needs of our clients.

    "Our teams are continuing to respond to market demand, and are meeting the needs of our clients as they navigate the changing market conditions. Pleasingly, several sectors in Asia are picking up, particularly in greater China, as the region starts recovering from the economic effects of the virus," said Paul Jenkins.

    "Across our practice areas, we're also seeing demand in equity capital markets, infrastructure work, financial services, dispute resolution, restructuring and employment.  However it is also apparent that some markets face a long road to recovery."

    The firm has announced its Stronger Together programme, which consists of a number of measures to ensure the firm's financial resilience through the crisis. The focus of the programme is on the Ashurst community working together to ensure job security is protected, the health and wellbeing of our people is supported, and the culture of the firm is preserved.

    The measures are as follows:

    • Reduction in monthly sums paid to partners by 20% for the next 6 months
    • Salary reviews for the 20/21 financial year to be deferred to 1 November 2020
    • Bonus programme maintained for eligible staff with 50% of bonuses to be paid in line with our standard timetable in July 2020, and the remaining 50% to be paid in November 2020
    • With the exception of staff in the busiest areas and members of the firm paid at levels below a determined threshold, and subject to the regulations of the jurisdictions in which we operate, employees are being asked to adopt an 80% work pattern for three months from 1 May 2020, with an equivalent reduction in remuneration (staff will however retain all their full time entitlements such as leave, superannuation and pension contributions in line with current arrangements)

    We also expect partners' incomes for our financial year starting 1 May 2020 to be significantly reduced.

    "The decisions we have made are difficult and we do not underestimate the impact they will have on our people. They are necessary to protect jobs and avoid the redundancy situations that other professional services firms have needed to consider."

    "The 80% work pattern will help manage capacity levels of the business in coming months. It will impact teams at different times depending on the demand from clients. The firm is fully operational and while working virtually in most locations, we are able to allocate resources according to client need," added Paul Jenkins.

    Chairman Ben Tidswell expressed pride in the Ashurst community and the manner in which the firm's partners and leadership team have banded together with all staff through this difficult time. "As a firm we have pulled together in an impressive way, with outstanding leadership shown by many of our people, including in particular our partners. While this is not an easy time, I take a great deal of confidence from the way the whole firm is presenting a united front, as we continue to meet the needs of our clients."

    "We all have an important role to play as business partners and members of our broader community. I have said regularly to the firm as the Covid-19 impact has unfolded that 'we are all in this together' and I have no doubt that Ashurst will emerge strongly from these challenging times," concluded Paul Jenkins.





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