A&O confirms up to 155 London layoffs ahead of Belfast launch

Allen & Overy (A&O) has entered into redundancy talks with 155 London support staff ahead of the launch later this year of the firm’s support services centre in Belfast.

Most, if not all, of the staff in individual consultations are expected to leave the firm.

A&O announced in February that it would be launching in Belfast, predicting at the time that around 180 support roles would be transferred to Ireland (2 February 2011).

A&O has since brought in Qedis as consultants, who have looked more closely at how the move will affect staff, and back-office functions.

“There was a lot of detail that we couldn’t get into before announcing the proposals,” said a spokesperson for the firm. “We are not just moving individual jobs, rather, we are moving whole processes. So we’re looking at which back-office jobs can move and what that means for staff here. And we could only really do that once we started talking to people.”

None of the staff are expected to leave the firm until the autumn, and all those affected remain in individual consultation until they leave.

A&O would not comment on the compensation for individuals but a spokesperson said: “I think the leaving packages we’re putting together will reflect how we’ve treated people in the past, which is pretty fairly.”

It is expected that there will be 250 support roles in A&O’s Belfast office by 2014, on top of 50 fee-earning roles.