Stephenson Harwood outsources document production function to Intelligent Office

Stephenson Harwood has chosen to outsource a chunk of its document production capacity to third-party provider Intelligent Office UK.

The decision came as part of a review of the firm’s secretarial and document production services in London, which drew to a close early this year. 

It culminated in the firm undertaking a “significant reorganisation” of its support teams, including axing 27 secretarial roles from its City base (5 March 2014). 

At the time, Stephenson Harwood’s managing partner Sharon White said that the restructuring aimed to “provide a more cost-efficient and cost-effective secretarial service to our fee-earners”. 

The move means that Stephenson Harwood becomes one of a clutch of UK firms to enlist Intelligent Office. In October 2013, Wragge & Co transferred a cohort of its support staff to the provider resulting in 26 full-time equivalent staff members taking voluntary redundancy (14 October 2013). 

Back in 2011, Bevan Brittan outsourced the work of 75 support staff to Intelligent Office UK (28 October 2011), while Boodle Hatfield is also understood to use the third-party provider. 

Stephenson Harwood’s decision is indicative of a growing trend towards the outsourcing of support staff. Earlier this month, Ashurst cut up to 17 of its City-based out-of-hours support staff with the intention of outsourcing the work to an offshore provider (8 August 2014). Meanwhile, Trowers & Hamlins also made 34 secretaries redundant as it launched a document production hub in Birmingham (6 August 2014). 

Firms including DAC Beachcroft, DWF, Fieldfisher and Parabis are among the other firms to make secretarial redundancies over the past three months.