"I'll just have to type out this electronic mail myself"
Gateley and Squire Patton Boggs are making secretaries and business support staff redundant.
“We can confirm that we are currently carrying out a very small-scale restructuring which impacts some secretarial and business support team roles," a Gatelely spokeswoman told RollOnFriday. The spokeswoman would not say how many staff were affected as "the process is still taking place"; but said the cuts would not "impact on any of our fee earning roles".
Support staff at the firm were informed by management that the new norm of "working from home" was the reason for the cull, an insider told RollOnFriday. Gateley's spokeswoman said the decision was "necessary to react and adapt to the change in working practices which have evolved in our business and all other professional services businesses over the last few months and which will continue to evolve."
In April this year, Gateley cut pay to 85% and delayed the qualification date for its NQs. The firm has now reinstated full pay, starting from this month. And the NQs pushed-back start date, also commenced this month, with the firm posting a decent trainee retention rate of 89%. The listed firm recently announced a 6% increase in revenue to £110m in the year to 30 April 2020. So, it's mixed fortunes at the firm, with cuts at one end for secretaries and business support staff, but things looking rosier for the firm's lawyers.
Squire Patton Boggs is also wielding the axe, with secretaries being chopped. “We have made 19 administrative roles redundant across our four UK offices following a consultation announced earlier this year," said a spokesman for the firm. He also alluded to remote working as a reason, saying: "In many ways the pandemic has changed the way we work, resulting in new working protocols and increased efficiencies."
"It is a difficult decision any time you part ways with a colleague and we offered enhanced packages to those impacted,” said the spokesman.
SPB and Gately are not the only firms to cite the advent of WFH as a reason for making cuts to PA and business support teams.
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