Freshfields set to cull support teams

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has launched a sweeping review affecting over 100 staff in its support services teams.

The move is expected to result in a number of redundancies. The magic circle firm announced the review to London-based staff on Wednesday (18 October) and is now going through a consultation process with affected staff.

Those areas affected by the review include knowledge management, business development and public relations.

A Freshfields spokesperson said: “Any proposed changes are all about setting the firm up to provide the best service to clients.”

Freshfields is the latest magic circle firm to review its support services. As first reported on www.thelawyer.com (2 October) Clifford Chance is planning to move 300 jobs to India in a bid to make savings further savings of up to £30m.

Clifford Chance is looking to launch a shared service centre in Delhi, which will comprise part of the global finance and IT support function.

Accordingly, the firm is also consulting with its staff to identify which roles within its accounting and IT functions in various centres around the globe can be moved to India. The project will almost certainly affect employees in London.

In May this year The Lawyer revealed that Clifford Chance had axed a total of 700 business support jobs over three years. That reduction in headcount allowed the firm to let out two floors at its Canary Wharf headquarters, which is thought to save it another £2m a year.