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Firm of the Year 2016 Stories

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The Golden Turd 2016
22 January 2016
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Hill Dickinson has placed last in the RollOnFriday Firm of the Year survey and is the 2016 recipient of the Golden Turd.

The Liverpool-headquartered firm earned a score from its staff of just 20%, with fear of redundancy dominating the responses. "People disappear in the middle of the night", said one associate, but "nothing" is communicated to the staff apart from "some meeting where it is stated that we are doing very well indeed". People used to be "very friendly", but following rounds of redundancies, the morale is "currently at an all time low and everyone is wondering who will go next".

Several staff describe the unfortunate contrast of senior management buying "some very expensive cars" a fortnight before announcing more job cuts, with one suggesting, "They live on a different planet".

    He'd take his revenge on his supervisor in the RoF survey 

Others go further, claiming that the "perma-tanned Scouse mafia" in charge place "total emphasis" on turnover and swish premises, with the head office "rumoured to be the most expensive office block in Liverpool". But behind the smart facade, it is a tale of costcutting. "They stopped serving hot meals in the cafe", says one employee, while "only partners can order tea and coffee for clients", and mineral water in the meeting rooms has been "scrapped and it's jugs of tap water only". It is, says one associate, the "epitome of all fur coat and no knickers".

    To the victor the spoils, to the loser the coil

To Hill Dick's credit, however, and in a sign that it is treating staff seriously, the firm has taken the turd on the chin. In a statement to RollOnFriday, it said, "As a result of changes to the marketplace, we had to restructure parts of our business which inevitably created a degree of instability. Whilst it was a difficult time for us, it was essential to ensure that our business reflected the needs of our clients. This work has now been done and today we are a growing business with a solid financial foundation and a clear strategy for the future. We have been working hard to regain the trust and confidence of our people and these efforts will continue throughout 2016”.


In second-last place, PI monster Slater and Gordon narrowly dodged the glinting shit with an abysmal 24%. Its decision to buy "floundering" Quindell for AUS$600 million when "literally anyone in the industry could have told management that was a rip off" won them a slating, along with its tanking share price. "That and buying numerous other large PI firms in a short space of time and making a piss poor effort to integrate them" (as demonstrated here and here and here).

Sullivan & Cromwell took third place from the stinker. While it scored excellently for pay, the US firm has not quite got the balance right. Management was marked 'very poor' by all respondents, landing the leadership with 0%. "There isn't a single aspect of the firm that is properly organised or structured", said an associate.

Things can only get better. Surely. RollOnFriday will publish the full 2016 results next week.