An exiting NRF staffer. How it might look.
Norton Rose Fulbright is making 132 roles redundant across Europe, Middle East and Asia; with 114 of the cuts in London.
19 lawyers are included in the cull, along with 89 business services staff and 24 secretaries. While some firms have cut legal positions during the pandemic, the bulk of redundancies have been borne by business services and secretaries.
A source told RollOnFriday that NRF had assessed which roles to cut using objective scoring, and that the firm was "having a big push to cut business services" as partners were "worried that having more support staff than fee earners is not sustainable".
“We have taken the decision to restructure our business services operating model to set us up to lead and thrive in a period of change and uncertainty," said Peter Scott, NRF's Managing Partner.
"Our new operating model will help us serve our clients as effectively and efficiently as possible. Unfortunately, a number of colleagues who have made important contributions will leave us," said Scott. "We have followed a process that is as fair, robust and sensitive as possible.”
Some posters on the RollOnFriday discussion board suggested that NRF's approach was "the way forward", and that other firms would soon close or downsize their central London offices and transfer work to the regions or abroad. "If there is no need for you to be in the office then your job can be advertised nationwide at 75% of the salary", said one. "Big Law could retain a small London presence for 'show' and client meetings."