"We're sorry to see you go -" "Byeeee!"
45 legal secretaries at Linklaters have chosen voluntary redundancy after the firm offered all its London PAs a deal in March.
In total, 225 legal secretaries and business team PAs were given the opportunity to take a severance package, and now 20% have accepted the offer.
"We are pleased that our voluntary redundancy offer has proven an attractive opportunity for those who are leaving us, as we continue to focus on innovative ways of working and shaping our secretarial teams to support a more agile working policy for the longer term", said the firm in a statement.
"They leave us as our friends and with our sincere thanks and support".
The offer followed Linklaters’ decision to permit fee-earners to work from home for up to 50% of the time. The anticipated take-up by lawyers, and the exigencies of homeworking during the pandemic, meant they were routinely undertaking tasks which used to be performed by PAs.
A source close to management said Linklaters had no internal target for the number of PAs it aimed to shed, and has no plans for compulsory redundancies. Which means Links may have managed to thread the needle of business efficiency without infuriating staff, as firms across the sector take aim at their support teams - both as a result of the pandemic altering working patterns, and also to address longer term technological shifts which have eroded the job description of the traditional secretarial role.