Eversheds to outsource UK-wide secretarial jobs

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  • They've had problems in the past with get rich quick schemes but they know they'll get rich with this scheme, and quick.

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  • ScoobyDooDoo - if something is worth saying, it's worth saying twice?

    Let's hope that the loss of immediacy that having colleagues in the same office brings is a price worth paying.

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  • I recall reaching a very effective arrangement with a secretary who wanted to work from home after taking maternity leave. I would dictate to a digital recorder and send the result to her as a WAV file by email. Result: immediate turnaround by an excellent secretary whose skills we did not wish to lose. The other fee-earners in my department would all send her non-urgent work (such as attendance notes) either by email or simply popping tapes in the post. She would come to the office one morning a week. No reason why many fee-earners could not work from home using such secretarial support. Could result in a significant saving in overheads.

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  • Quote from the Exigent web site:
    "Confidentiality and security are also guaranteed as we use a combination of encryption technology and established operating procedures to get the work done."
    Security is 'guaranteed' eh? This is a *bold* claim... security is *never* 100%.
    Moreover, what do clients think of such a move? Are they happy that potentially sensitive details of cases and so forth will be processed oversees? What about cases relating to personal sensitive information and the Data Protection Act (e.g. medical cases)?

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  • Boy am I glad I don't work there as a secretary anymore!

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  • Another tinpot scheme by Eversheds intended to show how progressive and client centred it is. You'd think it would focus on more fundamental problems - like woefully low revenue per lawyer. Touting a "commitment" to diversity and outsourcing won't help here folks. You have to wonder about the people that run this place.

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  • Outsourcing is often more cost effective. Companies that work in legal outsourcing know that security and accuracy are imperitive and without these their reputations would be shot. Secretaries who are not doing basic tasks may be more focused on research and have more time to develop better relationships with clients and fee earners.

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  • How can outsourcing be more cost effective - one of the main things to come out of this experiment is that Eversheds finally realised secretaries do far more than just type!! We are not actively encouraged to develop better relationships with clients or fee earners - we are here to do whatever the fee earner requires of us - without a pay rise for the last two years!! May be Eversheds should concentrate on keeping good quality staff because once the upturn comes about the quality of staff they require will all have been snapped up by firms who appreciate just what a secretary can do!

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  • Considering Eversheds has already lost an enourmous amount of talented secretaries, it is disgusting that much recruitment is "insider dealing" by management and half of that management isn't even needed! Maybe too many cooks shuld be used here? Keep the people who run your business happy, like your support staff and you in turn will make your money!!

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  • The bottom line is that the costs saved by outsourcing typing overseas is a drop in the ocean - it gives the illusion that management are being proactive in the face of a very dire situation.

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  • Exporting jobs in a recession between now and Christmas to a country without a minimum wage and in doing so circumventing UK employment law.Is this really the future with mere fee earners next in line?

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  • I am one of the secretaries at Eversheds who has been notified of redundancy this week. I was told we are able to attend interviews but what I didn't know was that you have to take unpaid leave or holiday!

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  • Very interested, can somebody post the website address of Exigent as it seems not easy to find. Thanks.

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  • If you would like to contact Exigent directly, please contact nstott@exigent-global.com

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  • Their website is www.exigent-global.com.

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  • they've got be realistic. We've all got to be realistic. exactly the same issues that the whole profession is facing. I suspect they're just being more open about it than most.

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  • An existing ratio of 3.4 fee-earners to 1 secretary seems very high. Is this common? I would assume that some fee-earners, perhaps in appropriate areas like uninsured loss and debt recovery will write their own letters, being helped by precedents. Surely it must be extremely difficult to have such a ratio in many areas of practice?

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  • I wish !!! A ratio of 3.4 fee earners would be a breeze. Following a round of redundancies I now work for 6 full time fee earners and in my firm, which isn't a small one, this isn't unusual.

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  • Speaking as a legal secretary for the past 17 years will Exigent do the following:
    Amend the same document about 10 times because the lawyer can't make up his mind what to put.
    Find out what time the dry cleaners take last orders.
    Answer all their calls because they have put it on divert because they are avoiding one of their clients.
    Lie to their wife that they are in an important meeting when really they are on a boozy lunch.
    Put through their expenses without questioning why they don't have any receipts for most of the things they are claiming for.
    Submit their time sheets and make up any missing hours so they qualify for their PEP.
    Book some irrelevant CPD course because it is September and they are in a panic because they haven't got enough CPD points.
    1 year after you have left get the blame for anything that has gone wrong, or any file/document that is missing because you were "useless".

    I rest my case.

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  • This issue is bloody arrogant.

    When the joy of low price is long forgotten the bitterness of poor quality still remains.

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  • Given that Eversheds advises on outsourcing you'd rather hope that it knew how it "works on the ground" (whatever that means) before embarking on this process.
    Outsourcing management decisions would be a step in the right direction.

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  • sheds should come clean and let people know about the likely closure of smaller offices such as nottingham. its not fair on people but do they care

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  • I read this article with interest. I have experience of working for firms where they have outsourced their document production. Unfortunately, they found to their cost that it wasn't cost effective, there were problems with spelling, layout and terminology. Within a year or two the secretaries who were left had their workload doubled!!!
    Also, if so many firms are going in this direction, why are there so many advertisements for legal secretaries in the City and West End with so called "Legal Agencies"? Do these vacancies actually exist - I think not! I'm a legal secretary with over 20 years experience, currently stuck in a boring, dead-end job and unable to find a position where my skills and experience are better utilised. Something has definitely gone wrong somewhere. Perhaps The Lawyer's journalists could look into these Agencies and their vacancies!!

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  • Our firm is probably going to outsource our typing, which will mean the majority of secretaries will be made redundant. At the moment this is so called secret, of course all the fee earners know! Is there nothing in employment law to give the secretaries a claim, ie that their jobs have been given to someone else, so the job still exists?

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  • Pennywise Poundfulish! No commited secretary is taking this seriously. Diverting the typingjob is o.k. A secretary is not a typist but a manager of the lawyer.

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