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Clifford Chance to cut 115 London support staff jobs

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  • Slaughters

    Slaughters clearly aren't in the Magic Circle anymore....

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  • CC Redundancy Process

    CC would have saved a lot more costs a lot more quickly if they had taken the same approach as A&O. This protracted drawn out process means that they are still losing money and will have a big affect on morale. The biggest costs savings would have been removing those partners who really add nothing to the firm in terms of profitability. It just means in practice another financial year ahead where deadwood partners can draw a huge salary for just clinging on.

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  • recycled copy

    The Lawyer's favourite phrase so far this year I think!

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  • Magic Circle

    Can we please stop the discussion as to whether Slaughters are or are not in the Magic Circle! Not again ...!!

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  • Time to get rid of dead wood

    I worked at CC's for 4 years. There are lots of business services staff with not much to do and make up work for themselves to make them feel like they have a role there. The worst ones are the long servers of over 10 years plus who constantly boast how long they've been with the firm and as if the firm owes them a favour. This is a good opportunity for CC's to cut the dead wood.

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  • Agree with : Time to get rid of dead wood

    I couldn't agree more with ex cc employee. I was at the firm for 4 and half years. Worked extremely hard but harassed by my line manager constantly. This particular manager had been with the firm for 23 years! A bitter line manager who believed they could behave and treat staff in any manner they want and in complete breach of the harassment and bullying policy that CC has in place (which means nothing). The most bizarre thing is that Litigation Partners and HR litigation Managers do nothing about this. Hardly surprising that the firm is now having to make drastic costs. Anyway, the only positive that comes about from this approach is that Partners who condone such behaviour are now losing big money.

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  • CC Business Suport Staff

    CC was the least dynamic environment I have ever worked in which surprised me given it is an international law firm. I noticed that some business support staff (the long timers) stroll in at 10am, take their time at lunch and start packing up at 5.25pm on the dot. The rest of the time is pushing a few files about and moaning constantly about their jobs and CC in general. It really has a negative affect on morale for those who join the firm. Not to mention the fact that they get paid for doing very little.

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  • Business Support Staff

    To the usual stupid comments posted by lazy lawyers about how business support staff sit around and do nothing all day while they are all so busy....whatever. If you bothered to look outside your window you would see that the business support staff have been radically trimmed over the last two years. No-one can be carried because there aren't enough staff to cope with the work required. Check the leavers lists and you'll see so stop whining about how hard it is for you and get with reality.

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  • Partners are lazy too

    Well I can't speak for CC but I agree that the attacks on support staff have gone too far. What about lazy partners? Like the firm in East Anglia where a Partner was running his own 'wine business' on the side and as a result couldn't supervise his juniors. Needless to say, when the proverbial hit the fan because of his inability to keep the eye on the ball a scapegoat was found and dispatched forthwith from the firm. The partner left or was kicked out some time later.

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  • Time for talent to shine

    Being a support staff is certainly not one's choice. Most of the time is due to circumstance and the fact that there are no other options around at the time so they resort to this. I wonder if partners and lawyers can cope without the paper pushers. Not everyone can as lawyers have become so used to being molly-cuddled by their PAs and paralegals that without them, they would be paralysed and will not know where to look to find a simple document or how to use the photocopier or God forbid, staple a set of documents together.

    The main reason for cutting jobs in CC would be because there is not enough work in all the departments and the big firms like CC are inundated with support staff and this is the time when real talent can be identified. The support staff who really work hard and are intuitive would have seen this coming and probably approached lawyers in other teams like tax, regulatory, competition etc where there is work and would have made sure that they are working on important matters and are indispensable.

    The ones sitting around and doing manicures and making 10 cups of tea a day and gossiping about the latest fit lawyer on the scene or facebooking all day long will certainly be directed to the door. The ones who are kept on earned it and you have got to remember, support staff too have families to feed and commitments to meet, it is not just the lawyers who are earning £200,000 a year and driving jaguars and parading in their latest

    TM lewin suits who have commitments. A little sensitivity needs to be exercised towards those who make you you cups of coffee or answer your calls or type up your messy scribbles.

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  • Amazing

    It takes a really special kind of pikey to earn GBP200k a year, drive a Jaguar, and yet wear TM Lewin suits. Reading that made me shiver. Whoever that refers to, my god, that's shameful.

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  • Perception

    It's a truism that partners really couldn't care less for the parts of a support function that they don't see. And for the support function of any large modern day law firm that's a heck of a lot of headcount slumped beneath the radar.

    And I use the word slumped advisedly. Having worked in the finance department of a major law firm I was amazed how obtuse partner perceptions were regarding their non-fee earning members of staff. All support staff were graded on an alpha-beta-gamma-epsilon-bravo-foxtrot-omega plus-optimus prime-type scale that wouldn't look out of place at Crufts; annual performance was scored on a clumsy marks out of ten basis, a score which seemed completely arbitrary as one was deemed to perform only as well as one was personally liked by the head of department; and promotions were excruciatingly rare indeed, most top jobs being filled by external applicants from banks.

    Now, if I'd been a qualified lawyer and I'd kept my head down, worked the hours, done all the basic things right etc I'd have received annual re-grading based on my years of experience, I would have had a defined career path towards partnership and I'd be getting paid at least double or treble the salary of most non-fee earners.

    Also, as a fee-earning lawyer I too would probably have made the odd glib comment as to how lazy and unmoitivated most of the support staff were (our fee-'burners', ha ha); I too would have owned the uniquely rational position that the commoditisation of legal advice was something to be fought off with one hand, whilst encouraging legal support services commoditisation with the other; I might even have wondered why there were so many glum faces in support when their various heads of department reported nothing but success in the firmwide glossy.

    It's all about false perception. Support staff are not lazy, they're not stupid and they do have the occasional shower every now and then. Like lawyers, they too are motivated by the prospect of financial advancement, they too are encouraged when their excellence is met with the words 'well' and 'done' and the real prospect of promotion; they too feel appreciated when their advice is listened to and taken seriously - no, they don't understand the difference between going to Common Law and Equity but their wealth of experience means they know other important things about the professional world, (things that even lawyers really should want to know about) - and try swallowing this morsel of excrutiatingly sentimental truth: support staff too suffer the basic human need to feel genuinely wanted in the workplace. I used my feet and left to join a plc where professional self esteem is maintained more through commitment, cleverness and industry than sycophantic ego massage.

    And if you think sycophancy doesn't warp perceptions of the support service function you're just plain wrong. My thoughts are with everyone whose job is on the line at the moment, and to all those who have already been made redundant I wish you all a speedy and happy return to work.

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