A&O boss vows to limit job cuts as firm transfers support function to Belfast

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  • "Some of the IT rolls are quite specialised and they will not be able to service A&O lawyers as well. God help the CEO when they loose big clients because their IT goes down or worse is hacked."
    What an idiotic statement. You southern types have some highly inflated opinions of yourselves. Do a little bit of research about the quality of IT services and graduates from NI before you start spouting tripe like this.

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  • Hahahahaha! Not cost saving my ar*e. Hope it goes t*ts up

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  • What I don't understand is this, A&O pride themselves on their quality of service, innovation and its people.
    Asking over 50% of their 'valued people' to relocate to Belfast is not 'innovative' and will by no means enhance its 'quality of service', so why else would a successful law firm wish to migrate support services?... Unfortunately it's plain to see that costs is the only real driver in this decision.
    A high percentage of london based staff are not going to relocate to Belfast, so this means cheaper NI counterparts will be recruited - what a slap in the face to their loyal, hard working 'people'.
    I could understand this decision if the firm was going through some financial hardship but record financial results have been reported - even through a recession!
    c'mon guys

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  • Looks like February becomes the traditional redundancy month at A&O. Anyway, cost cutting measures are always done when profits cannot be increased by incoming business. So, this story tells a bit on business prospects at the moment...

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  • Do the fee earners realise that when they achieve their goal of outsourcing all the support staff that there will still be 2 serious things to worry about:
    1. Who will pick up their dirty towels from the floor of the in-house gym.
    2. When there are no fee eaters left to outsource, the fee earners will need to outsource from within their own ranks.


    If you listen carefully you will hear the sound of the wind passing through empty heads.

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  • I personally am shocked and appauled at the decision to do this!! And how dare the ppl upstairs make the decision to review the roles to see what can be done from Belfast, they're so high up that they couldn't care what is done in our daily roles, they just want us to get on with it to get their bonuses, it's ridiculous and I won't be staying 1 minute longer than I have to!!!

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  • Hey, let's not underplay for a moment how unpleasant this is for the people affected. But by the same token, under any objective analysis there is obvious commercial logic. Central London must be just about the most expensive place in the world to employ some of these people so is it any surprise that companies look elsewhere? Law firms are way behind the curve compared to other big businesses!

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  • The remaining support staff in London shouldn't sit too comfortably as in a year or two when the Belfast office is established you can be sure the rest of the jobs will be shipped there. You know the scenario, get the London staff to teach those in Belfast all they know and then 'hey presto' no job. It's a sad fact that loyalty and hard work don't count in the workplace any more (except if you're a lawyer of course).

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  • All the big firms have moved jobs out of central London, or will be doing it. CC and Camerons in India, Links in Colchester and India, Baker Mac in Manilla, Herbies and A&O in Belfast. All their major clients have done the same. Nothing unusual or to be ashamed of.
    What is just awful is the line that cost saving is not the driver which is just an insult to our intelligence. I think he was trying to say that they could have saved even more in India or Manilla but so what - if you are redundant you don't really care where your job ends up.
    He goes on to say they are not prepared to compromise on quality with the implication that moving jobs outside the UK would have led to reduced quality. Is he suggesting that all his banking clients who have moved their back offices to India have compromised on quality? Are his own Asian offices sub-standard?
    Pretty poorly thought out statement really.

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  • George, the partners obviously figure they need another ivory backscratcher. Things are different to your day, mate!
    Anyway, we have people at 200% busyness and scrambling for warm bodies to throw at deals. That decision to sack have the firm not two years ago is looking really sensible now, isn't it fellas?

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