No, not that John Cleland.
Pinsent Masons is cutting up to 30 roles in its facilities team. “Covid-19 has permanently changed the way we and our clients work," said Managing partner John Cleland. "All of the internal and externally available data confirms that colleagues who've worked productively and effectively from home will wish to continue to do so, to a material extent, once the pandemic ends".
Cleland said that "fewer colleagues (and clients) working in our offices on a daily basis require fewer colleagues to support them". He added "we know the impact this will have on our people and their families and we’ll work with everyone affected to ensure they get the support they need and that we implement this programme in a way that is true to our purpose, code and values.”
Dentons also recently commenced a redundancy consultation with up to to 24 fee earners affected across its London, Milton Keynes and Glasgow offices. A source told RollOnFriday that the "restructure was planned before the pandemic, and so the firm cannot blame the latest redundancies on Covid".
But a Dentons spokesman disputed this suggestion, saying "the success of remote working during lockdown...prompted us to think more radically and modernise our plans". The impacted areas are Real Estate, Energy, Transport and Infrastructure and Non-Contentious Construction.
The firm is also creating "a small number of virtual roles" under an initiative called Project Apollo: the Greek god of the sun, medicine, poetry and now remote working. A press release on the project, said the firm hoped the 24 potential redundancies would "be significantly reduced" with the impacted fee-earners filling "some, if not all, of the various proposed virtual roles".
An insider said that the announcement of the redundancies were a "surprise", claiming that the firm had "repeatedly" told staff over the last few months “both during the pay cut consultation period and in the time since then - that there were no plans to make redundancies."
However, a Dentons spokesman said that this claim was incorrect, as the firm been "always been open and transparent". He said the firm had "confirmed that there would be no redundancies during the six month period" of the flexible working scheme it had introduced, "and we have kept that promise." The scheme ran from the beginning of June to the end of November, and staff have now resumed their "normal working patterns" with "salaries going back up to 100%," confirmed the spokesman.
The source said that there could also be potential redundancies for business services and secretaries in the new year. The firm did not confirm this, but said in a press release that it had "commenced a review into how and where it delivers business services" and was also reviewing "what could constitute a 'modern secretary' role", with outcomes to be announced early next year. Secretaries and some business service teams at other firms have been in the firing line for cuts, in recent times.
A disgruntled source also complained that the firm's pay review had been "delayed again, until the summer". The Dentons spokesman said the firm did not feel it was appropriate to proceed with salary reviews in the UK or Middle East, due to the recently announced redundancies, and so the next comprehensive review would take place "in the first half of 2021, with any increases taking effect on 1 July 2021."
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