Pinsent Masons cuts 78 legal PA roles following redundancy consultation

Pinsent Masons has cut 78 UK legal personal assistant (PA) roles as a result of a redundancy consultation that started in September.

The firm initially said that up to 100 roles were at risk when it announced the redundancy consultation, with all of its UK legal PAs involved in the process.

Confirming that the consultation had now ended, Pinsents said that all 78 job cuts were voluntary.

All affected PAs were eligible to apply for new team administrator roles at the firm, with Pinsents initially hoping to recruit for 50 such roles.

A spokesperson said: “We can confirm that the firm has concluded its consultation, resulting in 78 voluntary redundancies across our UK offices in line with expectation. There were no compulsory redundancies.

“While it is always disappointing to see colleagues move on, we are confident that the steps we have taken are in the long term interests of the business. We would like to thank all of our colleagues for their continued dedication during what has been an uncertain time.”

RollonFriday, which reported on the original consultation, said that, in addition to hiring the administrative assistants, Pinsents intended 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.

In a statement in September Pinsents said: “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. We will do everything possible to support those impacted during what we recognise is an unsettling time.”

Hogan Lovells is also currently restructuring its UK support staff base, with 90 London roles set to be cut or moved to its business services centres in Birmingham and Johannesburg, that currently house about 70 and 110 staff members respectively.

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 and insurance firm BLM which made a recent round of 50 cuts among its secretarial and direct support staff earlier this summer.