The magic circle firm is in the final stages of the consultation exercise and is currently interviewing staff, in accordance with government guidelines, in a bid to re-employ them.
The sweeping review, which was announced last October, is understood to be affecting more than 100 staff. The move is expected to result in redundancies, but the firm is hoping to keep staff cuts to a minimum due to natural attrition during the past few months.
The restructure will result in the combination of Freshfields' knowledge management and business development functions to bring them closer to the practice groups in London and to offer better value to clients.
The new structure is expected to be put in place during February.
Freshfields is the latest magic circle firm to review its support services. As first reported on www.thelawyer.com (2 October 2006), Clifford Chance is planning to move 300 jobs to India in a bid to make savings of up to £30m. The firm is launching a shared service centre in Delhi, which will comprise part of the global finance and IT support function.