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Hogan Lovells to cut 90 London support staff as roles move to Birmingham and Johannesburg

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In the same month Pinsent Masons revealed up to 100 PA jobs could go

Johannesburg

International heavyweight Hogan Lovells has revealed that up to 90 London support roles could be cut or moved as part of a restructuring of its UK operations.

Around 78 business services roles and 12 legal support positions will be slashed from the international firm’s London office, or transferred to its business services hubs in Birmingham and Johannesburg, South Africa. The consultation process opened yesterday (18 September) with London staff who are affected and whose postions are likely to be relocated.

Commenting on the changes ahead, Hogan Lovells’ deputy chief executive, David Hudd, said:

This is part of our strategy to evolve our firm so it continues to meet our business needs as well as those of our clients in a rapidly changing and highly competitive market. We are fully committed to ensuring that our people are treated fairly and are fully supported throughout this process.

Hogan Lovells’ Johannesburg outpost currently employs around 110 staff in areas including marketing, finance, technology, and business development. Meanwhile, its Birmingham counterpart — which took on its first trainee lawyers in 2016 — is home to roughly 70 employees. Both hubs opened in 2014.

The back-office overhaul comes just over a week after fellow international player Pinsent Masons revealed up to 100 personal assistant (PA) jobs could disappear.

Legal Cheek understands that the consultation will review PA positions across all eleven of its UK offices, including London, on a department-by-department basis. Staff affected will be eligible to apply for one of the outfit’s 50 new administrative assistant roles that will be created.

Pinsents’ and Hogan Lovells’ PA reviews follow similar moves by Anglo-German giant Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and insurance specialist BLM.

Freshfields offered voluntary redundancy to all 180 or so of its London support staff earlier this year, while BLM confirmed last month it was cutting 50 secretarial and support roles following a summer consultation.

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6 Comments

Anonymous

Expect to see PEP go up next soon then. Greedy partners, take home an extra £50k each in cost saving and upend the lives of tens of people and families. It probably screws over lower end fee earners such as trainees and junior associates who rely on business support in London to make their lives a bit easier.

Disgraceful.

Anonymous

What a nasty bunch at HL. There seem to be two schools of thought in respect of outsourcing things like this at large law firms. I am glad my firm has not shifted everything abroad or to the regions to make the partners a bit more money.

Anonymous

Agreed. What next? Perhaps a robot secretary. Maybe instead of staff in the cafeteria there will be a build your own sandwich bar (bring your own bread, butter and filling). Definitely consider putting a 50p charge on the toilets – a few more pennies and will deter fee earners from taking too many trips away from the desk.

Anonymous

Nice – interesting to note that the partner conference will be in the well known budget no-frills destination of Monaco too, incl. business class travel and free bar for almost a week.

Thanks very much, HogLove

Anonymous

From the ‘Values’ section on their website:

“One team worldwide – We act as an integrated team across our entire firm worldwide, working together in an atmosphere of mutual respect, collegiality, and friendliness.”

I am not sure support staff (or the junior staff who will end up with worse support) will carry much mutual respect for those who made this decision. I wonder if there will be a feeling of collegiality or friendliness at the next Christmas party when the support staff have to travel down to it by train. That is, if they are even invited.

Anonymous

It’s the way all the law firms are going just full of greedy people who don’t have enough money poor things
Destroying the British working life
Nice to see the compan’s backing this country by sending all the work abroad
Should be done for treason the scum

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