Watson Farley Williams is cutting legal PA roles in its London office.
A WFW spokesman confirmed to RollOnFriday that the firm had commenced a redundancy consultation with affected staff. He said there was a "diminished requirement" for PA services arising from a "switch to remote working due to the COVID pandemic" and the firm's "expectation that agile working will continue in the future."
"This was not an easy decision to make," said the spokesman, adding "we are working closely with the affected individuals to provide support as this is obviously a challenging and emotional time for them.”
A source told RollOnFriday that 13 Legal PAs were at risk of losing their jobs, which equates to "almost half of the team". WFW's spokesman did not confirm numbers, saying that the firm needed to "conduct a fair process."
Derek was going to be fine, absolutely fine, without his PA.
Reed Smith and Dorsey & Whitney confirmed last month that they would be making job cuts, also blaming COVID-19.
To top off a bad week for PAs at WFW, an insider revealed that an office manager sent out a bungled email to PAs with personal email addresses of the furloughed PAs. "Nice to know data protection is important in the firm," said the source.
“We acknowledge an error was made in the communication in question and we are in touch with those concerned,” said WFW's spokesman.