Pinsent Masons is placing all of its UK secretaries on notice of redundancy.

The firm made the announcement internally on Thursday. Leaked to RollOnFriday, a source said the firm made the decision after reviewing the amount of administration work undertaken by PAs and lawyers. The source said 105 jobs are expected to be axed, with the majority in the London and Birmingham offices. 

According to RoF's source the firm intends expand its use of its centralised typing pool and its outsourced resource  in South Africa instead. It will also apparently recruit administration assistants to replace costlier legal secretaries, and cull PA team coordinator roles. The massacre would, said the source, be completed by the end of November. 

Pinsents is by no means the first firm to 'modernise' its secretarial support functions, with all the pain that entails. BLM pushed the button earlier this year (provoking fury in the comments section).

  Betty was more efficient than the old PAs right up until the moment she synced with Skynet. 

A spokeswoman for Pinsents said that the location and number of individuals impacted had not been finalised. She said, "Our vision is to be an international market leader in our global sectors, and to do that we need to ensure our people have first-class support and infrastructure. Over the past year Pinsent Masons has invested significantly in technology and other resources to achieve this as efficiently as possible. One of the consequences of this is that our resourcing levels among PA staff and the needs of the business are no longer aligned. For that reason we will be entering into a consultation with our PA team. While it is hard to be precise about the outcome of the consultation at this point, we have not ruled out the reallocation of resource or redundancy of some roles. We will do everything possible to support those impacted during what we recognise is an unsettling time".

Read more on Friday.


Anonymous 11 September 17 15:42

Sorry to read about this. It seems to be the lower paid who suffer the worst at law firms.

Anonymous 14 September 17 09:21

I look forward to seeing this international market leader passing on the associated cost savings to clients, since the objective of the exercise is not to improve profitability.

Anonymous 17 September 17 11:14

With respect to the shock horror, there's a real question about the value of secretaries and PAs, particularly at the salaries they're paid. The better ones add value but they're few and far between. Relives the days of PAs typing "expert credit" repeatedly.

Anonymous 17 September 17 20:40

anonymous user 17/09/2017 08:08
'What's the difference between an administration assistant and a secretary?'
Answer: a law degree and a willingness to accept half the salary based on the faint hope of a training contract.

Roll On Friday 21 September 17 11:30

If were talking Exigent - that's a BIG step to bin off 100+ PA's that will harbour bitterness against PM.

As will all outsourcing, its not the redundancies and saving of £££ that's the problem, - its the bringing it back in-house when it invariably goes tits-up.

Anonymous 22 September 17 08:20

Shouldn't really be a shock to those affected. Sad that it is, the PA's are probably the only support dept not to be affected over the past few years.
So many PA's in London have been there over 8 years, a sure sign of high wages and low workloads, they just don't seem to leave, at least the internet usage will go down now.

Anonymous 05 October 17 17:21

As a former legal secretary some of these comments make me very sad. A good legal secretary has an understanding of the area of law they work in and the processes and procedures, builds up knowledge of clients and cases and often has very good relationships with clients. The role has certainly evolved and there is less word processing involved than there used to be but with the right skills they make the fee-earners more efficient. The stress that often gets transferred onto them, particularly when having to work for 5-6 fee-earners and juggle conflicting deadlines, and the hours they work justifies the salary.