Eversheds has forecasted that it will save £2m a year following the implementation of a UK-wide secretarial outsourcing project.
The national firm is expecting to shed 95 secretarial jobs across the UK once a pilot with outsourcing company Exigent is rolled out.
The project will involve a team working on Eversheds’ documentation processing in Cape Town.
Under the terms of the Exigent deal, during busy periods Eversheds can increase the number of staff working on its account in Cape Town and reduce it during quieter times.
Eversheds managing partner Lee Ranson said: “This is really important for us. It means this is a really efficient service. There’s no way you can be this flexible in the UK.”
If the scheme is successful across the firm’s UK network Eversheds plans to roll it out across its international offices and will consider expanding it to some areas of legal work.
In May The Lawyer reported (25 May) on the launch of Eversheds’ two-month outsourcing pilot. During the pilot 10 members of the Cambridge-based secretarial team were put on gardening leave. It is understood that they are still on gardening leave.
Ranson said: “The pilot was very effective because it gave us an opportunity to evaluate how the service operated on the ground. We were able to adapt the service and how it worked effectively.”
Ranson added that during the pilot the Cambridge office operated on a fee-earner to secretary ratio of 6:1. The firm anticipates that once the outsourcing project has been rolled out the average ratio will be 4:1.