Hogan Lovells is laying off dozens of support staff as part of a restructuring. The redundancy process, announced internally today, will affect 78 business services roles and 12 legal support roles, all in the London office. The jobs are expected to be transferred from London to the firm's low cost offices in either Birmingham or Johannesburg, or outsourced entirely. 

Staff in London were told that support staff in the US are going to be affected, too, and will be told when they go into work today. The difference is that the US redundancies will be structured as voluntary retirements.

    A voluntary retirement yesterday 

Last week RollOnFriday revealed that Pinsent Masons is laying off over 100 support staff as a part of a similar rationalisation.

A HogLove spokeswoman said, “The drivers behind our VERP* program are two-fold.  First, it is in response to requests we have had from a number of business services members to undertake early retirement and offers our people enhanced terms.  Second, it enables us to look again at our business services roles and where we deliver those services from.   Together they give us an opportunity to accelerate how we deliver our business services operations in the U.S. and globally, making sure they are aligned to the future needs of our firm”.

Read more on Friday.

*That's Voluntary Early Retirement Programme, by the way, not Very Endangered Role Pacification or a new STI.


Anonymous 21 September 17 01:49

I'll correct the very minor typo for you:

[i]A HogLove spokeswoman said, “The drivers behind our VERP* program are two-fold. First, it is [b]to make more money for the partners. Second, it enable us to make even more money for the partners."[/b]

Anonymous 22 September 17 08:26

Most firms have too many support staff. It’s the product of years of empire building and weak management.
Partner non-performers, too many support staff, poor IT. The writing is on the wall for a lot of law firms who refuse to change. Many more will fail over the next 5 years.

Anonymous 22 September 17 09:51

I remember when Hogans set this office up and discussed it with someone who was moving there. It was a bit of a leap of faith but this person is really happy there. The same goes for someone else I know who moved there and is doing well. The moving of more roles to Birmingham (even back office roles) is great news for the city as it builds capacity to carry out the work along Colmore Row.

Anonymous 22 September 17 09:53

Restructurings are to be expected given market dynamics but blaming it on 'requests to undertake early retirement' lacks class.

Anonymous 22 September 17 11:41

To anonymous user at 07.26 from a Law Librarian, I hope you don't rely on Library and research services. I know colleagues who've been made redundant in the past and lawyers calling them up at home begging for help as they realise they do actually need them. I know of roles being sent to offshore centres where they don't actually know what to do or how to support their very distant patrons, those same firms are now bringing some of the team back in-house. The law firms discover they are paying pot loads of money for databases as they got rid of the person who used to negotiate it etc and so it ends up costing them more money than they save. When they go through exercises like this they look at the cost but forget the value.

Anonymous 22 September 17 20:50

How many times has A&O outsourced it's 24 hour document service in the last 8 years? It's been in house, India, to Ireland and to a bunch of temps on long term contracts replacing the lot of them. God knows what else. Meanwhile Ashursts efforts to send things to South Afrida also went right down the cesspit. These things do not always turn out well. Anyone used Office Tiger and ended up weeping at the results?

Anonymous 22 September 17 21:48

I obviously don't rely on library services because I know it all!!! Get in the redundancy queue behind the secretaries

Anonymous 23 September 17 09:31

A HogLove spokeswoman said, “Some people have chosen to go in return for a good pay off. We have also decided to provide services from places where it is cheaper so are sacking employees in London because of this. "

Anonymous 26 September 17 08:32

The Hoglove spokesperson added you can tell from the geographical locations of those given pay offs to retire early and those outright binned who we care about and who we don't. But then you knew who was boss the moment the merged name was revealed didn't you?

Anonymous 28 September 17 09:22

Law firms tend to be very secretive about these things so the numerous failures are kept quiet if possible. There are a lot of them. Odds are this will take years to get right, and as soon as it seems to be working some muppet will decide it needs to be restructured. Look forward to years of minor frustrations and occasional major ones just so you can add £2.50 to partners' equity. False economy.

Anonymous 02 October 17 14:17

Hogan Lovells is still too ashamed of its "Birmingham Service Centre" to call it an office and admit that its UK operations are national rather than London, akshalloy.