Camerons outsources all support services in £600m deal

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  • How much money is Camerons going to make out of this if Integreon is going to be using its staff to do work for other firms?

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  • My sympathies to the poor staff who will be caught up in this noxious experiment.
    It will be interesting to see if the process works, but whilst retaining the outsourced staff in the same building, one has to question why? I certainly would not trust recruitment of my staff to someone else, nor want my daily affairs dealt with by technically, a permanent "temp".

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  • This is similar to Orrick's outsourcing operation in the US which was to have sold services to other firms. I don't think any other firm ever signed up.

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  • All support functions? This reveals how much Camerons see support as a commoditised service. Yes, some areas can be outsourced but how will they ensure strategic alignment in areas such as business development?

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  • If firm's sign up to business development being outsourced to one firm, how does one differentiate on USPs? Confidentiality is hard to monitor at the best of times, but how it works when the same team works for a number of firms having access to highly confidential information across a number of areas (and not just recruitment unlike the headhunters who, lets face it, are not entirely discrete themselves) should be interesting to watch.

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  • If your name is Cameron, in this day and age, then I guess you have to power share!

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  • Am I alone in thinking that Camerons have been conned by some very slick salesmen?

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  • Cost-cutting by any other name would still smell as fetid. Let's hope this isn't just yet another way for a big firm to hide the fact that it needs to make redundancies.

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  • Oh for the day when support staff are respected as integral team members rather than disposable and interchangeable whenever corners have to be cut.
    It's hard to see how this idea can offer a "service that’s better than any back office law firm", not only from the aspects of the lack of confidentiality, effiency, knowledge, etc but also those antiquated ideas of morale and motivation. Who wants to feel like a small cog in a big machine?
    I would dearly love for partners like Duncan Weston to spend a day working as an unappreciated secretary or in accounts. I suspect it would be eye-opening.

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  • Up next, the Secretaries. Then, Boris Weston will finally have to figure out how to grow a business through means other than cost cutting. Two years of it and profits are still plummeting.

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  • Speaking as an ex (thank goodness) Cameron's lawyer, I am saddened but not surprised by this latest piece of news. It is utterly typical of how the management of CMS treat their staff (another case in point being the administration of the 'flexible working scheme'). This move demonstrates just how utterly uncommitted they are to the development of their staff and I am amazed that a man of Duncan Weston's experience still believes that he and the rest of the partnership board can grow a business without investing in and nuturing support staff, NQs or junior lawyers.

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  • Why is it that as lawyers will cling to antiquated ideas? Our core competency is meant to be the delivery of legal services, not IT or support funcations. Our blinkered view will be the death of the profession. Its high time businessmen take over the industry. Bring on ABS!

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  • When I was at Camerons delivering its 'core competency' (legal services), I seem to remember requiring quite a lot of IT and support functions, especially when under pressure and working at the weekend and at 3 in the morning. I also remember the clients being rather displeased with the manner in which we were unable to produce a 300 page word document that wouldn't corrupt or crash and our (then outsourced) IT department could not help. It is extremely short sighted to say that IT and support services have got nothing to do with the business of providing legal advice. How does this fit in with Camerons' dream of being a 'full service law firm?'

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  • Outsourcing can work very successfully if approached as a long term deal and if you are very clear on service level agreements. It is not a quick fix, cost cutting exercise and it requires careful and effective management and that's often where things fall down. Firms need to grow revenue as well as control costs; sounds easy but difficult to deliver.

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  • Well done!
    Back Office Outsourcing (BOO) is becoming increasingly popular throughout the legal profession because it allows the firm to focus on their core competency - law!
    I work for CallCare, 24hr call handling specialists since 1998 and we have been working with several large law firms who have turned to us to reduce costs but more importantly to maintain the quality of how their calls are handled.
    In fact I myself had a meeting with Tony Wright back in October 2009 to propose the idea of outsourcing their switchboard facility, it's encouraging to see one of the leaders within the legal profession embracing the new concept of outsourcing. Lets hope the rest of the market follow....

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  • I suppose the Camerons' switchboard operators should start looking for new jobs then! (Tony Wright is Camerons' director of operations).

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  • Gemma great self promoting but you seem to missed the point. its all of support services. How often do the fee earners "Realistic" above being one of them go to support with a problem expecting instant results? Well it looks Camerons fee earners will now just be another client who will get the outsourced treatment ie no urgency or personal contact/respect. Just like when they phone up Phone / utilities etc. Did the Partners really vote for this? Very short term solution, my thoughts go out the under the kosh support staff there.

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  • In my experience employees do not wish to join outsourced providers - hospitals are not better for all their outsourced activities - the pride in working for the former employer goes. Unfortunately, accountants rule.

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  • How do we feel? Undervalued, unappreciated and very low on morale. What impact is this going to have on peoples performances over the next few months? Managing Directors/Equity Partners honestly think that we believe that they are doing this for the good of the Back Room Staff/Support Staff as they put it "First in Class" if they think we have swallowed this then they should also believe that our work ethic and performance will remain the same as before this outsourcing was announced. There are people who have given 20 years of service and this is their reward (being dumped to another company.)

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  • It shows that the management have no concern for their support staff, moreover after their last 2 restructures. People suffered on 3 day weeks & now they outsource, no one else would sign up to this model, turnover of support staff remains high, it's not the nature of work, but middle management. They should outsource them instead! How long will it be till they leave?

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