Deloitte

22 June 2020: Deloitte lays off 7 per cent of its 10,000 Australian workforce. Consulting and Advisory are the hardest hit. External Audit spared from cuts.

PwC

17 June 2020: PwC lays off 400 employees in the financial advisory, consulting and support sectors of the business, representing approximately 5 per cent of its Australian workforce.

EY

14 April 2020: EY cuts partner and staff hours by at least 20pc

KPMG

2 April 2020: KPMG lays off 200 staff of its 9,000 Australian workforce.

Consulting and Advisory hardest hit

The big 4 employed 30,000 people across Australia. The areas of work that have had the biggest downturn are referred to as ‘consulting’ and ‘advisory’. 

In these times, the priorities of corporate Australia have changed. Consulting and advisory are typically associated with longer term objectives. The focus for corporate Australia right now is cash preservation and profitability. In this environment, consulting projects are nice to have but protecting the bottom line and cash flow is essential.

Deloitte followed very quickly after PwC’s cuts. Which big law firm will break first and will it cause others to follow in lockstep as is often the case in the world of big law?