Camerons outsources all support services in £600m deal

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  • Just as an interesting footnote, although Integreon is marketed as a US company with all its stomach-churning, happy clappy, 'arbeit macht frei'-style bull-sh*t, it should be noted that it is in fact a Filipino company. Integreon is a division of the massive Phillipines company Ayala. So now CMS can tell clients their business development is, in effect, run out of Manila. Excellent. (See: www.ayala-group.com)

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  • As the dust from the initial blast is starting to settle it might be worth reflecting what is really happening. Camerons are apparently presenting this change as a business services transformation, not outsourcing. Well, if you work for a firm on the payroll one day but you work for the firm on someone elses payroll the next you have been outsourced however you tart it up. You know, if it looks like a duck, etc...
    But what you call it misses the point. The staff involved applied to work at Camerons, were interviewed and appointed by Camerons to join an integrated law firm. They saw themselves as an important part of Camerons' business, just as much as the lawyers and the partners. Now, however, they are being told that they are no longer part of that business, that they are preventing the lawyers from concentrating on the core business, that they are cluttering up the payroll. You can do a sale and lease-back on the building, the furniture, the computers, but it is wrong to do it to people. However much this improves the bottom line, the balance sheet will forever be poorer from the lack of the humanity Camerons once showed its staff.

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  • I have the utmost respect and honour for any one who is not afraid to be creative and a pioneer for the overall and forward momentum of progress for the noble and honourable profession of the law;
    THE LAW IS DYNAMIC AND ORGANIC AND SHOULD BE THE PIONEERS IN THE FIELDS OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY BEING AN ITEGRAL PART IN ESTABLISHING THEM;
    THE LAW IS MOVING AHEAD WITH SOCIETY AND IN SOME CASES SPEARHEADING THE MOVEMENT;
    I SAY KUDOS TO CAMERON

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  • Many comments how support staff are 2nd rate at law firms, not true. They are a nessessary part of the system. Working another company you will be treated like 10th rate staff.
    Integrion will want to maximise profit whist doing as little to get it and Camerons will want as much bang for their buck as they can get...instant conflict of interest. This is a simple cost cutting exercise where quality of service does not enter the equation.
    Yes there are some quick wins and ways of working smarter but you can't re-invent the wheel every 6 months!
    Existing staff will leave because they are expensive and will be pushed to breaking point, those that do remain will be so demoralised that sickness and care for the job will disappear. Integrions staff will replace at a lower salary and we all know you gets what you pays for!
    The roles will be devalued, the service will be degraded and the internal customers will just have to put up with it as there is no other alternative.
    This has been seen time and time again at lots of other firms. Clifford Chance did it then took it back in-house because the service was appauling!!
    Surely it makes sense to invest in improving support management and making them accountable, than to monkey manage the problem so you can blame someone else when it all goes horribly wrong.
    Only time will tell!!

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  • As one of those potentially affected, I personally am going in to the process with an open mind. Until we have more information it's impossible to know whether or not to jump ship. This said, I now have significantly less loyalty and am not alone in having circulated my CV and lined up interviews. In the short term the handover will only work smoothly if there isn't a mass exodus - there must be some sort of carrot, and at present there just seems to be smarmy BS (not Business Services!).
    I appreciate this is the cost-cutting and competitive world we live in now but it has absolutely smashed morale with many long serving staff left gutted and disillusioned.
    Time will tell!

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  • Having been through the process myself I empathise with all CMK staff affected, it is a very difficult time for yourselves and your families so I can understand the negativity. But I do have to make some corrections.
    Firstly Integreon's business is assisting law firms, and it relies on its people to do that. You go from being 2nd rate (albeit a very necessary 2nd rate employee) to becoming the a fee earner, and we're all valued as being that.
    Secondly we take a huge amount of pride in the service we offer to OC (and other clients), we do it with the same or more commitment than we have done previously. Why, because we're recognised as integral parts of the business, far more than I felt we were at OC.
    And finally I would suggest that most of us still primarily work for OC, the relationships we've developed with people still exist, we're still the same people at the end of the day, there's not really a huge difference.

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  • Dear Ex OC now Integreon,

    The difference between OC and Cameron McKenna is that Cameron McKenna is 80% larger than OC. I have worked as a contractor before and know, as well as you do, what the realities of working in that sort of environment are. Don't come and tell me that it is the same, if not even better. It isn't.

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  • I have my doubts that other firms will want to use Camerons' out-sourced service for themselves in the short term (I once unsuccessfully tried to market a successful legal service to other law firms from within a law firm). However, memories fade and markets move on so it may be different in the medium to long term.
    Be that as it may, I know Integreon's senior UK management and I couldn't hope to meet a more upstanding and decent bunch of people. This comment will doubtless be shot down in flames but I wanted to go on record to say that I'm sure they will see their first duty as being to the happiness and well-being of their staff, both current and imminent. And even if they don't, it simply doesn't make sound sense to have a hacked-off work force!
    I have no business or personal relationship with anybody at Integreon, by the way.

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  • Am I the only person who feels that the only departments of any firm that can truly be outsourced are IT & Facilities Management.
    IT as you will only do a big procurement round every 3-5 years and everything else is tech support.
    Facilities is far more cost effective to have a dedicated company such as Mitie or NB Entrust to run it

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