Camerons to cut 9 per cent of support staff as part of Integreon deal

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  • Don't know about you, but being 'asked' to relocate 100 miles away when an employer knows where I live could, perhaps, be interpreted by some people as being able to trigger a constructive dismissal claim. This is especially so when it is still perfectly possible for me to carry out my function for the business in London. Of course, whether such a 'request to relocate' really would be construed as dismissal would have to be decided by an employment tribunal after a full hearing of the facts. It would be interesting to see what previous ruling say on this.

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  • I love the use of the term 'consultation process', a ridiculous euphemism. Consultation implies some sort of interactive process leading to a mutual decision. It really seems to be take-it-or-leave-it.
    Beware of smiling Dunkies.

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  • This makes sense. They're doing this to cut costs aren't they and if that means cutting some of the flab out of the headcount so be it. This is a business after all.

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  • Well, if you can't grow revenues, then you cut costs. Cutting costs are generally a defensive strategy when you are expecting problems with revenues. It is how you save a business, not how you make it profitable.

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  • Not a surprise about the redundancies. I was at one of Liam Brown's support staff meet and greet sessions last Spring and he said there would not be any redundancies as a part of this process. Naturally, that that confirmed my suspicions and , I'll be honest, I'm glad I'm out of there.

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  • Interesting how "it will not have to transfer the remaining staff under TUPE ". As a buyer of outsourced services myself, I'll now be seeking my legal advice from Camerons as to how to avoid this pesky legislation that tries to protect my employees' rights and gets in the way of my cost-cutting agenda!

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  • To @ immaculate pasta - just wait until your employer designates you as 'flab' to be cut off (even though you are probably working your arse off and haven't had a pay rise in three years) - and then sit back and soak up that very special feeling. Bet you'll just love it.

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  • I wonder if the name Cameron McKenna will exist as a brand in 10 years. Who cares, Duncan doesn't seem to - only 150 years or so of heritage and it's only a name anyway.

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  • Cameron can now give their 100 per cent in their core deliverence ... Like Integreon many more companies are in limelight in quality support deliverence ...

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  • @ Anonymous | 25-Jan-2011 12:05 pm - In ten years' time it will probably be called something like CMS Piper or CMS McKenzie.
    By then the process of automating and offshoring front office work will be in full swing too. Great for IT companies, partners/shareholders and workers in emerging markets, not so great for wage levels in the UK...

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  • I've passed Weston's bland statement through my recently developed Corporate Reports Analysis Program, which provides the following translation:
    "We're actually making lots of money, far more than most people could even dream of earning, and we could easily afford not to make these redundancies. However, by dumping loyal employees, and transferring their work to people who are very poor and will work for next to nothing we can help satisfy our insatiable greed and selfishness, which is our real priority."
    A very useful program, and one which I intend to make widely available.

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  • Deliverance? - wasn't that a movie where .......

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  • Second-rate firm even at its peak. To be fair though, if you can't cut it there you probably shouldn't be pretending to be a lawyer. Bring the h8.

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  • It will be interesting to see next year's accounts and whether the 'savings' end up being trousered by partners or used to gain a competitive advantage for the clients - lower fees.

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  • I think that there are a number of points here.

    1. Integreon offer a service, and went to see Camerons.
    2. The Board at Camerons listened, and put the service offer to the Partnership.
    3. The Partnership voted for Integreon services.

    There are lots of senior individuals involved here, but it is also true that the Partners were offered the vote - yes or no to Integreon - and they voted yes. There's a valid argument, on this basis, to point fingers not at any individual but at those who voted for the change; the Partners.

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  • I don't think people fully understand service outsourcing, to be honest if someone offered you the oppurtunity to do more for less then would you not take it?

    I understand people losing their jobs is sad in any case but the machine is bigger than the people working within it. The capitalist view for business in these times is survival. Cost cutting today is a way to increase profit margins like it or not.

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  • why does a recent article about dickinson dees redundancy focus on "madam guillotine" etc and the human impact/inseneitivity, yet this one about camerons is all about the bottom line and the "business improvement" angle...

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  • Nice comment, well made Anonymous | 26-Jan-2011 9:59 am.....
    ...or should we say Duncan

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  • Camerons is a business not a charity. If they can deliver the same level of service to their clients (or better) by outsourcing / making redundancies then it makes sense for them to do so. If that delivers increased profit to the partners who own the business then so be it. Thats capitalism and this is not North Korea. Is this strategy (outsourcing) wise, however, given the generally poor expierience most people have with outsourcing? It may save some money but will it damage their brand? We'll be watching with interest.

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  • To anonymous - 4.21pm.
    Of course the partners at Cameron's can do whatever they like, and of course that is capitalism. But that is not the issue. Indeed the point you make is mundane, trite, at best.
    At some point, as a matter of human values and ethics, one considers the lives and well-being of those who work for you - not just your own pockets. To the extent one treats human beings as mere instrumentalities, one becomes no more than an ruthless carnivore (animals however are better on the ethics scale - they make no pretense).

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  • To Anonymous | 27-Jan-2011 4:55 pm

    Why does it become "a matter of human values and ethics"

    We are talking about law firms here. They exist purely to make money.

    Solicitors are just coin machines for their firms. They are only as useful as the money they bring in.

    Solicitors are highly expendable and so ethics and values are not applicable.

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  • Support staff are the roots of any company. The backbone. They work diligently, and with minimum fuss to ensure the needs of the clients, both internal and external, are met. Without them the company will still run, and the people at the top will continue to get even richer. There is no doubt about that. However, what most companies fail to realise is, the service levels they have come to expect and rely upon, will suddenly be gone. And unfortunately, the loyalty, service, dedication, flexibility and attention to detail shown by the support staff of CMS over the last 40 years will only be missed when it is no longer there. To those of you who believe we are "flab" to be cut off, and seem to feel we need reminding that this is "a business". We, who pay the bills, bank the payments, bill the clients and generally make sure the rest of you can do your jobs properly, do not need reminding. We are the people who keep that business running on a day to day basis. You may feel smug and superior now, however, it would be wise to consider the implications for the next level up. The outsourcing of support staff is without doubt, only the beginning. How long do you think it will be before the "powers that be" start pruning back the twigs and branches half way up the tree and beyond. Trust me, nobody is safe from this. It is only a matter of time.

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  • What surprises me most about the situation support staff are in today is that very few of them belong to a union. Normally, when an employer seeks to sack people without good reason, make working conditions worse, or cut pay, then staff strike - often with some positive results for the staff. Unions will also provide legal support for anyone who needs it. (That's why people in Europe fought for decades to develop unions so they could help protect employees' rights in situations just like this.)
    Lawyers like to say how useless support staff are, then let them try and run the firm when half the staff go on strike on a Monday morning - just sit back and watch them sh*t themselves with panic as the machine grinds to a sudden and embarrassing halt. 'Oh dear,' says the managing partner, 'we do in fact need these people, after all.'
    I really hope the rest of the employees in the City understand what is coming and how best to fight it. If you do not demonstrate now that you have some leverage, then you cannot expect bosses to listen to your greivances in the future.

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  • Anonymous | 31-Jan-2011 2:15 pm
    Congratulations on making the first worthy comment on this board.

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  • Interesting to see Integreon winning business when CPA Global looks like pulling out of the LPO/LSO business in Europe, with round of redundancies this week - as they cant get the model to work.

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  • And not so long time ago Camerons were seen as a reputable old fashioned English law firm dating back to 1700s. The times have changed defintiely....Not sure if for the best though.....

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  • I bet the Partners at Cameron Mckenna will still be pocketing huge sums of cash.
    Never mind the support staff who have given 5, 10, 20 years of their working lives to the company.
    Makes you sick.

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  • For some reason up until this week the finance staff in particular have remained loyal to their partners. Pushing them to achieve maximum billings - ensuring that they don't have to deal with asking their clients to pay their bills (such a dirty business) and making sure they don't have to fend off demands for payment from experts etc
    In the brave new world when the fee earners have access to a single one stop finance shop (an army of accountants if the role profile is true) and are governed by workflows and processes and farming it off to India, the fee earners will no longer have that - they will have to do it themselves - or pass it on to their secretary - who will spend so much time chasing around and dealing with this sort of stuff they won't have time to do your typing - or indeed your marketing proposals seeing as you've already got rid of your marketing staff
    But hey ... at least you'll be getting a better service - and nice reports and apparently for a cheaper price as qualified accountants don't cost as much as an unqualified people person - go figure!

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  • Come on people - this is the way of the world in the 21st century. Companies want to maximise their profits and they don't care what carnage this causes along the way. If you want out then get out, if you don't or can't then make the most of what actually could be a good opportunity for you, working for an ever-expanding multinational empire.

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