Raymond Doherty 9 Oct 2019 11:28am

Grant Thornton UK lays off number of partners

Following a difficult couple of years the UK’s sixth largest firm is cutting a “small” number of partners to save costs

Grant Thornton informed its senior management that about 12 partners, which is 6% of its total, are being let go, according to the Financial Times. Some of the partners have worked at the firm for over 30 years.

A spokesperson for Grant Thornton UK said, “Like all businesses, we regularly review our operating structure. I can confirm that a small number of partners will leave our firm over the coming months. This builds on steps we’ve already taken over the last year to ensure our operations are aligned to the changing needs of our clients and their stakeholders.”

In March the firm laid off 50 to 60 staff, predominantly in brand, marketing and communications roles.

It follows a “tough” year during which revenue fell by 1.8% from £500m to £491m and profits by 8% to £71m. Average profit per partner was also down from £403,000 to £373,000.

The firm blamed its “disappointing” performance on one-off portfolio disposals and contracts terminations.

In October last year, its high-profile chief executive Sacha Romanovitch resigned after her annual performance review was anonymously leaked to the press along with a complaint that she had “misdirected” the firm.

In February it was ordered to pay former audit client AssetCo £21m in damages for negligence involving the company’s 2009 and 2010 audits, as well as £5m in legal costs.

The Financial Reporting Council is also currently investigating the firm over its role as auditor of failed cake and coffee chain Patisserie Valerie. Another of its larger audit clients, Interserve, also went into administration.

Meanwhile, the merger between top 10 firms BDO and Moore Stephens saw Grant Thornton demoted from the fifth largest firm in the UK to sixth position.