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City biz support jobs axed again as Taylor Wessing makes 28 redundant

Taylor Wessing has made 10% of its 270-strong City business services staff redundant, the latest in a string of firms moving support roles to lower-cost locations.

The UK top 20 firm announced the move today (7 February) following a consultation launched a year ago which affected up to 34 roles.

It said in a statement it was ‘pleased to report it has mitigated redundancies by finding affected staff new roles in London, or through redeployment in Liverpool’ which resulted in six of the 34 roles being saved.

Taylor Wessing also reported today that its Liverpool office, opened in November 2018, has since grown from ten to 17 lawyers and more than 60 business services professionals.

The firm plans to further grow the nearshoring base, led by real estate disputes head Saleem Fazal, to over 100 staff by April and has signed a ten-year lease for office space in the Edward Pavilion building in the Royal Albert Dock. Last year the firm said it planned to have 150 staff based there by the end of 2020.

Taylor Wessing managing partner Shane Gleghorn told Legal Business: ‘While there have been redundancies in our London office, we have mitigated the position which has ended up with 28 roles rather than the 34 initially projected. This has been a result of the high degree of professionalism displayed by everybody involved in the consultation process. We are also pleased to be on track to creating 100 new jobs in Liverpool, and there will be more jobs created in the future. This is not least because there are four major Universities in the city, and many of them share our focus on tech and life sciences. There is great talent available to our business.’

Taylor Wessing’s job cuts in the City come despite the firm growing its profit for a number of years. In 2018/19 profit rose 10% to £62.6m as the firm lifted UK turnover 8% to £156.6m. Profit per equity partner grew 13% to £655,230, following a 20% increase the previous year.

A number of other firms have slashed their City business support roles in favour of low-cost centres. Baker McKenzie scrapped 46 jobs in June last year, with 15 people made redundant and 31 moved to different roles within the firm. Hogan Lovells cut 54 of around 500 City business services roles in June 2018, moving most of them to low-cost hubs in Birmingham, Johannesburg and Louisville.

Other firms to announce redundancies in recent years include Ashurst and Ince.