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Cleary Gottlieb makes London paralegals redundant

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Trainees to take on additional work

US outfit Cleary Gottlieb has made all its paralegals in London redundant, with the firm citing a drop in demand for their services as the reason for the decision.

Until recently, Cleary’s UK recruitment website welcomed applications from prospective paralegals who were “detail-oriented, have excellent organizational ability and strong written and oral communication skills”. Now, law grads looking to gain some valuable legal experience at the US outfit are met with the message:

“Cleary Gottlieb’s London office no longer has an active Paralegal recruitment program.”

The firm’s handling of the job cuts hasn’t gone down well with some, with one insider telling RollOnFriday that trainees were “expected to pick up their work after an hour of handover”.

A spokesperson for Cleary said:

“We confirm that we have made three paralegals redundant in our London office. This was regrettable but followed a 9 month review of work patterns that indicated that there was no longer the same level of demand for their services as had historically existed.”

“Those services are now being provided by a combination of our junior administrative staff [and] where it helps to provide additional training in areas such as court work, trainee solicitors”, the spokesperson added.

Traditionally, US law firms have much flatter, leaner hierarchical structures compared to their UK counterparts. This means that while junior lawyers at US firms tend to receive less in the way of paralegal/administrative support (and as a result spend some of the longest hours in the office), they are among the most well-remunerated in the City. A newly qualified (NQ) lawyer at Cleary, for example, receives a hefty salary of £120,000 — a full £20,000 over and above its nearest magic circle rival Freshfields.

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