Your USU/ASU delegates had a very unsatisfactory meeting  today (9th February 2018) with Slater and Gordon HR Head Carolyn Noumertzis and a representative of Korda Mentha.

The firm has a duty to consult with the union about major change and redundancies and they are refusing to talk to us or answer our questions until after March 5th  2018  when  they  say  they  will  have  completed discussions  with a variety of unnamed principals in General Law.

We have tried to get from them what staff’s options will be but they seem more concerned to finalise business sales than talk about the future of affected employees.

We know that people who are affected want to choose what they do – some people do not want to work  for  principals  who  might  buy  their practice.  Slaters’ refused to discuss anything like this with us.

Members will recall that when there was a restructure last year and many people were made redundant and offices were closed,  staff  and  the  USU/ASU  were told that this would be the only restructure and redundancies and there would   be no other areas affected.

Today Slaters’ human resources admitted this was untrue and that those who said this were being “optimistic”.

We questioned the firm extensively last year about general law’s future and the future of other offices and got those erroneous assurances.

This week’s announcement also mentioned a change to the size of the  commercial litigation practice. Today we asked what a smaller commercial litigation group will look like – we got blank stares and no answers.

We asked what offices will close – again all we got is that offices which are not general law offices may be targeted as well.

We asked Slaters to rule out office closures beyond those that do general law – they would not and they would not specify anything.

There was no detail of which offices, who is affected or when it might happen.

On pressing the company we were told around 200 people are in scope – some may be able to be redeployed, as there are 32 vacancies currently but without knowing what the vacancies are and who is in scope this means nothing. The fact is 200 people may well be redundant as Slaters’ does not want to continue with the areas of law they practice.

The Australian newspaper reported on 7th February 2018 that Slaters’ PR people told them that their general law review would not lead to “job losses or office closure”. That does not appear to be true as we understand a range of people have already been told they will be redundant.

What next?                                                                                                                   

We have no alternative other than to lodge proceedings with the  Fair Work Commission. We have done this today.

Staff deserve better than this high handed approach. The founders  of Slater and Gordon would expect no less.

We will hold meetings of members in the near future to keep you updated on progress.


If you have questions contact your local USU/ASU organiser or delegate. If you want to join the USU/ASU – you can do so on line at

USU/ASU Organisers






Emily Callachor

0417 420 924

QLD Together

Jo Justo

0449 520 337


Jeanine Orzani

0417 714 767


Chiara Lennox

07 4771 2873


Gail Dean

08 8363 1322


Andy Lewis

0409 778 890


Karen Tantari

0472 512 484


Rebecca Gillis

0417 969 502