Redundancy 2013: Watson Farley latest top 40 firm to review secretarial jobs

Redundancy 2013: Watson Farley latest top 40 firm to review secretarial jobs

With 2013 offering all the dubious promise of being the toughest legal labour market since 2013, Watson, Farley & Williams has become the latest top 40 firm to announce it is to review its secretarial support function in its London office.

A firm spokesperson said: ‘Secretaries in WFW’s London office were recently advised that a review of our secretarial support function will be taking place over the next five weeks, following which the team may be restructured if required.

‘This aims to ensure that we have highly skilled and specialised roles that meet the needs of our fee earners.’ Continue reading “Redundancy 2013: Watson Farley latest top 40 firm to review secretarial jobs”

Redundancy watch: DWF, Hill Dickinson and Taylor Wessing all confirm job cuts

Redundancy watch: DWF, Hill Dickinson and Taylor Wessing all confirm job cuts

The stream of UK law firm job cuts continues apace as DWF, Hill Dickinson and Taylor Wessing have today (30 July) confirmed that recent redundancy consultations have resulted multiple job losses.

DWF, having completed five mergers in less than 18 months and with a remarkable 84% increase in turnover to £188m, has become one of the most closely watched national practices in the legal market of late. The expansion has led to some significant streamlining of the business however and the firm has confirmed to Legal Business it has cut 38 staff from its ranks following redundancy consultations that began in May. Continue reading “Redundancy watch: DWF, Hill Dickinson and Taylor Wessing all confirm job cuts”

Guest post: You could up-skill them, instead you simply canned them – the secretarial canary in the law firm coal mine

Guest post: You could up-skill them, instead you simply canned them – the secretarial canary in the law firm coal mine

‘A really far-sighted law firm would give its secretaries the chance to ‘skill up’ and take on more responsibility, accomplishing more advanced tasks. … Change ‘secretary’ to ‘workflow manager’ or ‘logistics director,’ and you’ve accomplished three great things at once: increased the role of software in handling clerical and financial duties, reassigned your valuable secretarial help up the productivity chain, and attended to an area in which you can find real efficiencies and carve out a true competitive advantage over other firms.’

Continue reading “Guest post: You could up-skill them, instead you simply canned them – the secretarial canary in the law firm coal mine”

102 jobs to go as BLP redundancy consultation concludes – 58 legal staff depart

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has confirmed that it has cut 102 jobs that were placed under review in May, with 58 legal staff and 44 secretarial jobs being lost.

Of those laid off, 84% took voluntary redundancy, reflecting relatively generous severance terms on offer. The redundancy review was announced on 14 May and lasted for 45 days.

The redundancy programme also included a number of additional business service roles although the 735-lawyer firm could not confirm the number affected. It said that a targeted 15% reduction in salary costs was achieved. Continue reading “102 jobs to go as BLP redundancy consultation concludes – 58 legal staff depart”

Comment: Weil Gotshal and the narrative of the New Normal

Comment: Weil Gotshal and the narrative of the New Normal

Whatever the business case for announcing significant down-sizing, there is no doubt that in the field of modern communications Weil Gotshal & Manges scored a significant victory last week in its handling of job cuts.

Confirming its move to cut around 170 staff on 24 June and lower the compensation of 30 partners, Weil was joined up, transparent and eloquent, with executive partner Barry Wolf (pictured) on hand to put a jargon-lite case for its actions. The expected loss of 60 associates is equivalent to roughly 7% of Weil’s associate base. Continue reading “Comment: Weil Gotshal and the narrative of the New Normal”

Taylor Wessing to review secretarial jobs

96 London support staff put on notice of potential redundancy.

Taylor Wessing is to make 26 of its City secretaries redundant with all 96 secretaries in London put on notice pending a consultation.

The firm but expects the process to last for at least 30 days.

A statement released by UK managing partner Tim Eyles said: ‘The realisation of our strategy is dependent on us ensuring that all areas of our business are structured with a view to providing the best and most efficient service possible to our clients.

The redesign of our secretarial support is driven by that focus.’

Taylor Wessing in May announced that its revenues increased by 7% annually in 2012/13 to £228m, with UK revenues up 4% to £104.5m. The firm has yet to confirm partner profits for the financial year.

Taylor Wessing joins a growing list of major UK practices to announce job cuts in recent months including DWF, Berwin Leighton Paisner and Osborne Clarke, with 2013 shaping up to be the toughest legal labour market since 2009, when more than 2,000 jobs were cut in the UK.

Last month Ashurst launched a wide-ranging consultation with 350 support staff in London after announcing plans to launch a ‘north-shoring’ arm in Glasgow to provide back office and legal support.

Continue reading “Taylor Wessing to review secretarial jobs”

Coming on like 2009 – Weil Gotshal becomes the first major NY firm to announce job cuts this year

Coming on like 2009 – Weil Gotshal becomes the first major NY firm to announce job cuts this year

So far the wave of redundancies that have rippled through the UK legal profession has not been replicated across the Atlantic but that may be about to change with news on Monday (24 June) that Weil Gotshal & Manges is to cut around 170 staff.

The New York-based law firm announced the move internally in a package of cuts expected to impact on 60 associates, around 7% of its non-partner lawyer ranks, and 110 support staff, citing what it described as the ‘new normal’ of low growth.

In addition, Weil is to cut the compensation for some partners and the firm said it would be ‘de-emphasising’ its complex commercial litigation practice in Houston and Boston. Continue reading “Coming on like 2009 – Weil Gotshal becomes the first major NY firm to announce job cuts this year”

Taylor Wessing to review 96 City secretarial jobs leaving 26 redundant

Taylor Wessing to review 96 City secretarial jobs leaving 26 redundant

Taylor Wessing is to make 26 of its City secretaries redundant with all 96 secretaries in London put on notice pending a consultation.

As first revealed by RollOnFriday, the firm has not yet entered a formal consultation but expects the process to last for at least 30 days.

Continue reading “Taylor Wessing to review 96 City secretarial jobs leaving 26 redundant”

Redundancy announcements increase as top partners predict difficult H2 for UK firms

Continuing pressure on UK legal market threatens largest redundancy levels since 2009

The level of legal redundancies this year is on course to be the largest since 2009 as the number of law firms announcing job cuts grows and senior partners predict tough months ahead.

CMS Cameron McKenna, which launched a review of its UK and Central and Eastern Europe business in January, last month took the final decision to make 37 staff redundant. The news came as 330-lawyer, top 50 UK firm Trowers & Hamlins also announced in late May that seven employees – three secretarial staff and four fee-earners – had been made redundant, with the firm blaming continuing pressures on the UK legal market.

Continue reading “Redundancy announcements increase as top partners predict difficult H2 for UK firms”

Redundancy watch – expansive DWF puts 80 jobs at risk as gloomy job news continues

Redundancy watch – expansive DWF puts 80 jobs at risk as gloomy job news continues

The steady stream of job cuts seen through May continued this week with the rapidly-assembled national player DWF confirming it has put around 80 roles at risk in a review of the business. The move comes only two months after a previous consultation put 99 jobs under threat following DWF’s recent run of five acquisitions culminated earlier this year in taking on 419 staff from the collapsing Cobbetts. Continue reading “Redundancy watch – expansive DWF puts 80 jobs at risk as gloomy job news continues”