DLA Piper puts 251 in consultation across UK as firm mulls Glasgow closure

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  • Does the reference here to "Document production" equate to litigation support/discovery type production or to actual documentation typically done by secretaries and word processors? Being in the US, I read it as secretarial support but thought I should ask to be sure.

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  • Future trainee - deferrals seem likely

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  • DLA thought it was fair to call everyone affected in a conference call to break the news. On top of that they have very recently recruited new staff to DP Leeds despite a firm recruitment freeze. Convincing fair consultation process. Fee earners are not being included in the consultation process I believe primarily because they would oppose a move to a central unit in Leeds. They way they are treating loyal hard working staff is shameful. As for the legal typist jibe wouldn't mind watching you try it and see the quality. Of which sadly there will be lacking if the proposal goes ahead. Clearly professionalism does not matter here only cost

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  • For clarification DP produce advanced publishers, excels, Visio charts, PowerPoint presentations, marketing pitches and word documents which are either too large or complicated for secretarial support to spend hours on - amongst other things. They are also the 'fixers' when someone else - be it the other side or a well meaning fee earner - completely messes up their project! They work out of hours and overnight as well as 9-5. They also work nationally and internationally rather than just locally, so the ratios above are not accurate at all.

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  • With regards to future trainees, do you think if we are offered a deferral but do not want to accept it, we have the right to cancel our contract without the obligation to pay back any money received from the firm in contribution to Diploma in Legal Practice Fees?

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  • LOOKING FOR A NEW HOME - Glasgow DP will most likely be looking for a new home from around February 2013! We are a team of 11 who at the moment cover the shifts between 8.30am and 9pm Monday to Friday between us. We are a very skilled, hardworking and friendly team. We are all proficient in Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Visio and Publisher. We work extremely well together and have a wealth of experience to offer any prospective employer. We would prefer to relocate as a team! Please direct any enquiries through Glasgow HR :)

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  • @Anonymous 1:06pm
    My understanding is that you cannot be made to defer (hence the reason why firms usually offer cash sweeteners when they ask prospective trainees to defer) but if you elect to not train with the firm then they will be entitled to claw back fees and maintenance grants.
    If you choose to start when you are due to start, despite being asked to defer, then you may find that there isn't a lot of work for you to do and/or less chance of securing an NQ role at the end due to there being too many trainees in relation to number of qualified staff required. If you elect for the latter (not train at DLA) then you will probably want to have something else to go into so you can afford to pay back any grants and fees paid by them.

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  • Trainee: you should be able to sue them for breach of your training contract, or demand compensation for the deferred year. I don't see why you should have to pay them back. Quite the opposite.

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  • Future trainee - perhaps the best advice anybody could give is for you to use this as an appropriate time to rethink whether you want to enter into a profession that doesn't really make much money anymore, as clients become less and less willing to pay for quality service.
    The real failure here is that of the UK board to recognise the fact that DLA's position in the Scottish legal market is considerably different to that of its position down south - if the Scottish office continues to be treated as "just another UK office" then DLA in Scotland will continue to stand out in the Scottish legal market as a firm that clearly can't decide what its place in the Scottish market is.
    The big 4 Scottish firms consolidate and the other medium-large Scottish firms continue to grow - DLA's response = close the Glasgow office!

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  • Good business decision or a cut too far? Acknowledge DP are not an income generating team. And they occupy lots of space across lots of offices that, in theory, could be utilised as fee-generating space or a cut in commercial rent. In theory, a great business decision. In practice,likely to be very different. As an ex-DLAer this looks to me like a drastic extension of previous piecemeal cost-cutting to support services, which started with the abolition of 24/7 DP units across various offices to skeleton staff overnight in Leeds/London. The effect was felt even then by the fee-earning staff (particularly those in depts other than corporate on evenings when completions were taking place), but was minimised by some truly amazing cross-office juggling by the DP co-ordinators. I suspect that was hailed a cost-cutting success despite the minor headaches it caused.
    One of the reasons DLA worked like a well oiled machine is that it invested in its support functions: IT, DP,training. DLA's DP techs are second to none; I hope that there are plenty of other firms waiting to get their hands on any that are made redundant - it would be an investment they wouldn't regret. The current climate may dictate that costs have to be reduced, but I fear that the sheer scale of the proposed redundancies in DP may be felt so acutely by the fee-earning population on the ground, that Mr Angel will achieve nothing more than putting some clear blue water between the decision makers at the top and the rest of the staff at the firm. Let's see what happens to attrition rates at their best performing offices.
    Agree with previous posts : London probably safe, not on profitability but just on the fact that the firm needs to have some sort of presence there. The posts saying Leeds will go don't know the firm at all:Mr Angel would have to be completely barking mad. Would only happen if the Leeds partners decided go it alone.

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  • Definitely Phase 1. Phase 2 will follow as and when the rest of the regional office leases end. Glasgow lease was up in 2014. UK will be left with London and Leeds.

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  • I just love you Brits!
    Over here in the States, this sort of mass layoffs would pass by without much "consultation" (whatever that means). Welcome to Globalisation folks. The days of lifetime employment has gone the way of the British Empire.

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  • @anonymous 9.01am. There's a saying here in the UK which goes if you can't say anything nice don't say it at all. I hope your job is safe and you don't have to worry about paying your mortgage and feeding your children, a fear which is very real for some of those affected by Mr Angel's life changing decision

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  • Glasgow and the other regional DLA Piper offices all contain good laywers and support staff who have all helped to make the firm what it is today. There are people in each of those offices who are equal to those in the London office. The firm is run by reference to a vision and it seems that the current vision is to be an international business law firm. A large number of regional offices would seem to be inconsistent with such a vision especially when such offices are competing with each other for the same work. If the intention is to be an international business law firm, the office(s) that remain will need to be very strong performers.

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  • Hello my friends. It's your old mate Sidewinder here. Been away doing mergers and acquisitions - what you lot call M&A. Seems that the same old moaning is going on. You should all wake up and understand that this is a business and not some soppy club or something like that. It has to change and that is what they are doing.

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  • Very disappointed in them. The loss of exceptionally talented DP techs for a less efficient production of quality work and more problems for non-support staff.

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  • Future trainee - here's an idea: why don't you speak to the firm and find out the position from the "horse's mouth" rather than rely on the views of random people over the internet. From the report my guess is that until there is a final resolution of matters it won't be possible to give you a definiitive answer.

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  • Anonymous 23 Nov 2012 9.57am

    For your information we have spoken to the company and yes we have no truthful answers but everyone knows its a foregone conclusion especially as there are DP Tech vacancies being advertised in nearly every agency in leeds before we have even been disposed of!!

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  • Don't the Glasgow partners fancy going out on their own? The West of Scotland DLA clients could surely do with legal advice from a more locally situated office than Edinburgh? And you'd have your pick of the exceptional staff who will be available!

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  • "Enhanced" redundancy package.....just exactly what part of it is "enhanced".....the two months extra net pay added on to our statutory redundancy???? I'm no farmer, but I can smell manure.

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