The past year has seen a number of UK firms scale back their back-office support teams to become more efficient and save costs, with international firm Ashurst being the latest and placing half of its overnight support team in London at risk.
Seventeen out of a total 34 roles in document production have been placed into a redundancy consultation, expected to close before the end of August.
The remaining half of the team will continue to work in London, but the firm confirmed plans to outsource a significant portion of late-night document production work once it locates an appropriate offshore provider.
An Ashurst spokesperson said in a statement: ‘In common with many law firms, we are planning to move to a model where an onsite central hub based in London receives work which is then undertaken onsite or via an offshore outsourced provider. Our Australian offices have already been successfully using this model for more than a year.
‘We will be consulting with the team in London which could unfortunately lead to some redundancies in the team. As part of the consultation process, we will explore methods for avoiding and minimising this.’
The move to downsize this part of the team comes after 350 staff roles were initially earmarked for redundancy after the firm created a 150-strong unit in Glasgow last year to cover back office support and volume legal work, including document review in litigation and corporate.
Some 120 employees were later given the option to transfer to the firm’s new lower cost Glasgow site or take redundancy.