Camerons outsources all support services in £600m deal

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  • Most of the comments on this are depressingly cliched... it's like outsourcing is a dirty word for cheap call centres - does anyone really think a law firm would move all it's support services to that kind of set up? Change is required in the legal profession in many areas and guess what, people don't like change... Thank goodness there's a firm out there willing to do something brave where their 'support' people have a chance to influence the future provision of these types of services - because the rest WILL follow to one extent or another... and Duncan Weston will have got their first...

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  • Yes I really did work at OC and yes I posted on Legal Week too. Just trying to offer some hope to those worried about what's happening - it's really not all bad.

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  • It's times like this when one wonders if the UK's disdain for unions has helped lead us to this point. That is to say, if the hundreds of staff involved in this brave new world of lower salaries paid by Integreon and less job security, had been members of a union and were prepared to do something about it then perhaps law firms would think twice before casting out their 'cost centre' staff as if they were dumb cattle that just needed a prod to do what they were told?

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  • A sad state of affairs, but I suppose that if you are running a law firm and are incapable of growing the revenues, then all you can do is try and look at somehow reducing costs - the usual last roll of the dice for the desperate or out of depth. It is interesting that this appears to be the whole support function. As some have already commented surely in a forward thinking law firm these days, the skill is turning support functions into a competitive advantage, rather than seeing them as a commodity. It will be interesting to see how clients react to this move when they realise that all of those 'added value' extras (IT solutions, knowledge systems, training access, bespoke support etc) that are in the Cameron's pitch will be available from any Integreon company. It's also a surprise that Cameron's partners are OK with this when all of those extras will be accommpanied by an Integreon invoice in the future...

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  • As always its all about short term gain & planning . This is the culture of capitalism . Talk of long term strategy which sounds grand but actions are all about short term trends & fashions. Same way we overspent carelessly in the good times and so now we will cut costs calrelssly at the risk of long term failure.

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  • To the person who used to work at OC and now at Integreon: we had the sales pitch yesterday. As an "Integreonite" (Yes that's what you're called!) how much do you enjoy the daily 'water-cooler moments' and the 'touching of rocks' that the sales guy mentioned you have? The support staff are being asked to transfer to an alien American-style firm that spouts this gibberish and I wonder how many will have sought alternative employment before that time? I certainly won't be joining it. Spreading Magic and Love Everywhere ("Smile") - my butt cheeks.

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  • To Anonymous 18/5 at 9.23am. You are right to be surprised that Cameron's partners are ok with this: At the support meeting yesterday, Duncan informed the support staff that the partners haven't voted to approve it yet and my own understanding is that some (possibly many) didn't know about it until last Friday's press announcement. Oops - could be quite spicy.

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  • So Integreon is half-owned by venture capitalists then? And they're not known for putting their employees first, not loading up their companies with debt and flogging them quickly, then? Shanghai, Mumbai, Manilla or goodbye, then?

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  • It should be added that Camerons has got the whole outsourcing strategy back to front, and forgotten about the client in the process. God knows who advised them to do this. At the end of the day changes to production should be about the client not short-term boosts to PEP. The idea is to cut costs of legal production where it will help the client, ie sending process legal work done by City assocites to centres, perhaps within Camerons where it can be done more cheaply. The idea is not to undermine the firm by hurting the core group of people that make all of the firm's fee-earning possible - including the work of the partners. This is basically daft and transparently a move to reduce costs to partners so bills for clients can remain with a high margin. How can alienating so many vital people be a good idea?

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  • I believe the England World Cup squad is contemplating a similar move. Given their strategic plan is to win games and core activity to score goals, the strikers are staying along with the forward thinking midfielders - for the moment. The whole defence, however, is being outsourced. The service agreement for goalmouth protection support is up to 36 hours which is expected to become the industry standard. After all, fully integrated teamwork is so 1966!

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