Secretarial roles at law firms. How it used to look (circa 2015).
Clyde & Co and CMS are the latest firms to wield the axe.
Clyde & Co has commenced a redundancy consultation with 40 UK secretarial roles at risk. An internal Clydes' email seen by RollOnFriday suggested that the "restructuring" was in the pipeline pre-Covid and "proposed last year at the partners' meeting" as part of a "broader strategy" to "improve and modernise a number of functions".
The 40 potentially impacted roles are out of a total of 235 UK secretaries at the firm. An insider told RollOnFriday that Clydes is also adding 15 new secretarial roles, so the cuts will equate to a 25 person net loss. However, there is no guarantee that the impacted staff will be offered the newly-created roles; as the firm will advertise those jobs externally as well as internally, RollOnFriday understands.
The firm is also in consultation talks with another 10 staff across various business service departments, plus two fee-earners. Unlike the secretarial redundancies, these cuts have been blamed on "the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and its impact", according to the internal Clydes email, which explained "there has been significant variation between practices and groups, with some growing strongly and others facing a more constrained period."
“We can confirm that there is currently a consultation process taking place among our UK secretarial community as part of changes we're making to improve and modernise our secretarial provision in the UK," a Clyde & Co spokesman said of the cuts. "We are mindful that this is a difficult time for the individuals involved and we are supporting them through the process. As it is an ongoing process, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."
The spokesman added: "We can confirm that in addition there are a number of other small, discrete and unrelated consultation processes taking place across the firm."
CMS is also understood to be making cuts. An insider has told RollOnFriday that the firm is starting redundancy talks with affected employees including business support services staff and lawyers in its Technology Media and Communications team.
The source said to RollOnFriday that CMS "is in a very good position and will be giving bonuses, so why are they making people redundant in the middle of a pandemic just before Christmas?"
CMS declined to comment. If you're impacted or know the number of staff impacted, do get in touch.
Secretarial and business support teams at other firms have also been having a rough time of it, lately.
Take the RollOnFriday Firm of the Year 2021 Survey:
Clydes are time wasters when it comes to interviewing and dangling potential job offers so this news comes as little surprise. Believe me, I wasted almost 6 months of different meetings with them.
1 of those firms has been making fee earner redundancies for months.
Odd. I know one Clydes FE who was let go a couple of weeks ago.
Agree with 08.43, BTW. Me too.
Fun fact. Head of Technology at CMS is Chris Watson who is Emma Watson's father(Hermione Granger in Harry Potter) .
No mention of Dentons redundancies?
I’m sure there was a ROF story early in the pandemic about Clydes claiming to thrive ‘when the going gets tough’ or something along those lines...
no mention of the Dentons redundancies for RE, secretaries and Nusiness services?
I find it extraordinary that Clyde's think secretarial redundancies are being made to "improve and modernise our secretarial provision".
What a dishonest and insulting statement. Beggars belief that they are suggesting that making people redundant improves "improve" service provision.
Everyone knows that horse poop. Why can't they just be honest with people.
What about S&G redundancies?
Clydes just closed an entire office a few weeks ago, went under the radar. Made people redundant.
Wrong turn, Clyde!
Which office did Clyde's shut?
Oxford. About 20 people there.
Have to agree with 11.48 about S&G ! At the best of times it is unstable.
Clydes have been making redundancies for months. These are fee earners, not secretaries. Somehow they’ve been able to keep it under the table.
GC won't be happy
@9:32 and he manages to work it into every conversation.
>An insider has told RollOnFriday that the firm is starting redundancy talks with affected employees including business support services staff and lawyers in its Technology Media and Communications team.
Strange. TMC is doing well around here. Bad magic in magic circle?
I know someone affected by those other "discreet" redundancies and they (Clyde & Co) have barely bothered to come up with any reasoning. It demonstrates a shocking lack of respect for your employees.
It’s a nasty, grubby MOR insurance firm. I know partners who work there who think the same.
@ Anon 18:12. Rubbish. The firm works on some huge mandates.
@anon 11.48. S&G can’t make redundancies as all of the good people are leaving
Maybe the CMS Choir could make another video about how we ‘work together/ bill together’ etc. That should lift everyone’s spirits.
The London Office of Kirkland & Ellis has also reduced headcount! They’d like everyone to believe it’s doing “SO WELL” yet in reality they’re trying their utmost to cover up all the departures. The office lost business and they’re too ashamed to admit it! That’s what happens when you have tons of “partners” in name only.
Secretaries are a bit passe in 2020. Plus, I've never met one that doesn't entirely resent the fee earner(s) they work for. They share an inherent belief that they are utterly indispensable - a dangerous belief in these times.
Anon @ 11:29
Don’t know where you work but where I work, our legal PAs do a great job. I have come across some PAs who are a bit cynical of some fee earners - mainly with reason. I wouldn’t regard my legal PA as working for me - they are part of the team, and we’re all ultimately working for the firm to enable it to deliver legal services to its (the firm’s - note not a particular partner’s) clients.
Sad reality is with everyone working remotely, PAs and secretaries have very little to do. So it’s not surprising that as more firms move to allowing fee earners to work from home on a regular basis, there will be a reduction in secretary headcount across the industry.
No comments either in the past year about Clyde's failed US takeover of their IT department and all the job losses and transfers over to the amazing world hub of Kansas (!) only for that to fall flat on its arse.
CMS claimed during the height of the pandemic how well their forward thinking firm was doing but still secretly getting rid of people. They do scrub the internet very good to remove any negative remarks, you’ll only hear about accolades. As for their TMIC group RoF mentioned, it’s a hellhole to work in.
Clydes has utterly crap IT. It doesn’t invest in its systems and does things on the cheap.
I can't believe you people are still using secretaries....sorry let's call them 'PAs' so you think you are somehow important.
Law must be the last area where there are huge armies of secretaries typing for others too lazy / self-important / retarded to do their own typing.
What ancient duffers you are. You'd think the younger generation in law would be a bit more IT savvy?
No mention anywhere either of Shepherd and Wedderburn redundancies.
Yes no mention anywhere of Shepherd and Wedderburn redundancies ??
Shepherd and Wedderburn are keeping their redundancies quiet...?? Paying people xtra to just sign on dotted line.....