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Pinsent Masons has signed a three-year deal to farm out its bulk typing and transcription services to South Africa as part of a move to change the role of its secretaries.
The firm has been running a pilot with outsourcing company Exigent for almost a year to free up secretaries' time for more sophisticated tasks.
Jonathan Bond, head of HR at Pinsents, said: "What we want to do is to develop [the secretaries'] role into something more varied, interesting and highly prized by lawyers."
Bond said he would hold consultation meetings with both lawyers and secretaries to build up a picture of the new role.
"We're developing a job spec for the improved role and putting in place a clear competency framework, which shows the level expected of different people," he said.
David Holme, co-managing director at Exigent, said Pinsents was one of 40 UK firms the company was working with.
He added that a new office would give 24-hour typing and transcription support.
"Our view is that they can use the service as much or as little as they like," he said. "It's very flexible."
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