Pinsent Masons has kicked off a redundancy consultation that puts all of its UK legal personal assistants (PA) at risk, with up to 100 jobs set to go.
The consultation was announced last week and is set to be completed by the end of November.
Pinsents’ move comes as it sets out to recruit 50 team administrators, with affected legal PAs eligible to apply for these new roles.
RollonFriday, which first reported the consultation, said that, in addition to hiring administrative assistants, Pinsents intends to make more use of its centralised typing pool and lower cost South Africa office.
The firm works with legal outsourcing company Exigent in South Africa and has recently invested in resources such as document production facilities and better workflow technology to improve efficiency.
Pinsents said in a statement: “Our vision is to be an international market leader in our global sectors, and to do that we need to ensure our people have first-class support and infrastructure. Over the past year, Pinsent Masons has invested significantly in technology and other resources to achieve this as efficiently as possible.
“One of the consequences is that our resourcing levels among PA staff and the needs of the business are no longer aligned. For that reason, we will be entering into a consultation with our PA team. While it is hard to be precise about the outcome of the consultation at this point, we have not ruled out the reallocation of resource or redundancy of some roles. We will do everything possible to support those impacted during what we recognise is an unsettling time.”
Other firms to make cuts among their secretarial ranks in recent months include Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, which offered voluntary redundancy to all of its London secretarial staff earlier this year.
Insurance firm BLM made a recent round of 50 cuts among its secretarial and direct support staff earlier this summer, while last month it started a redundancy consultation affecting 19 lawyers and 10 business service staff in its Southampton office.