DLA Piper to shut Glasgow and offload defendant insurance teams as redundancy talks continue

DLA Piper has confirmed that it will shut its Glasgow office in the coming months and is on the cusp of agreeing deals with takers for its defendant insurance practices following the conclusion of a collective consultation.

The firm has also announced that it will retain a small document production unit in each UK office, meaning that fewer staff will face the axe than was expected when the firm first revealed news of job cuts at the end of 2012.

DLA Piper announced in November that it had put 251 staff into redundancy consultation following a review of its domestic business (13 November 2012). It is one of the UK legal market’s biggest rounds of lay-offs since 2008.

At the time, a spokesperson for DLA Piper said the firm was considering shifting its multi-site document production unit onto one site, but following a collective consultation the firm has decided to keep a small presence in each UK office, although the majority of roles in the unit will still be moved to Leeds in a bid to keep costs down. This centralisation of the document production unit will take place over the next six months.

DLA Piper has also confirmed that its Glasgow office will shut before 30 April – the firm’s financial year-end. It is anticipated that the Glasgow office’s 10 partners will relocate to the firm’s Edinburgh office, where there are also 30 jobs available for fee-earners and staff. The firm has around 75 staff in its Glasgow base at present.

The firm’s defendant insurance practice, which is based across the firm’s offices in Birmingham, Manchester and Sheffield, looks set to be acquired by two separate entities, with parties expected to agree on a deal in the coming weeks.

It is not yet known how many fee-earners and staff will lose their jobs as a result of the changes, since individual consultations are yet to complete. However, a spokesperson for the firm said that the redundancy package would be individual notice period plus three months net pay and benefits.

In a statement, a DLA Piper spokesperson said: “Our collective consultation has concluded and we can confirm that we will be closing our Glasgow office, divesting our defendant insurance practice and consolidating our current multi-site document production unit.”

Earlier today Eversheds announced that it has put 166 staff into redundancy consultation and is planning to close its Copenhagen office (24 January 2012).