Hogan Lovells offers voluntary retirement to 400 US business services staff

Hogan Lovells has offered voluntary retirement to hundreds of its US support staff, in a bid to trim down its rank of senior business services staff across the Atlantic.

The proposed US cutbacks come on top of 90 UK roles affected by a restructuring of the firm’s London operations, which was announced yesterday (18 September).

Hogan Lovells has confirmed that about 400 US business services staff who have been with the firm for at least five years will be invited to take voluntary retirement; however, it expects that between 5% and 10% will take up the offer – equating to approximately 20-40 staff.

The transatlantic firm said the decision had been taken in part due to a number of early retirement requests it had received from business services staff, and said that it would be offering “enhanced terms” for those involved.

It added that the move would enable the firm “to look again at our business services roles and where we deliver those services from”.

In the US, Hogan Lovells last year launched a $9m global business services centre in Louisville, Kentucky, which focuses on work such as billing, tech support and conflict checks.

The UK restructuring will see 90 London roles cut or moved to the firm’s business services centres in Johannesburg and Birmingham, both of which were launched in 2014. A consultation process began yesterday, with 78 business services roles and 12 legal support positions affected.

The firm expects that “the vast majority” of the roles will be moving, with about two thirds of the roles likely to transfer to Johannesburg. It declined to specify whether everyone affected is being offered the choice of moving to either Johannesburg or Birmingham.

The UK restructuring will affect all business services functions, including conflicts and compliance, finance, IT, knowledge and research, marketing and BD, and office services, while the legal support roles cover the firm’s cost office, litigation support, professional support lawyers and trademark paralegals. Lawyers, other legal support teams and PAs are unaffected.

The firm also confirmed that it is not currently undertaking any other business service or legal support restructurings in any of its other global offices.