CC transfers 300 jobs to India in £30m cost-cutting drive

Clifford Chance is set to move 300 jobs to India as it targets more cost-savings of up to £30m.

The magic circle firm is looking to launch a shared service centre in Delhi which will comprise part of the global finance and IT support function.

Accordingly, the firm is about to enter consultation with its staff to identify which roles within its accounting and IT functions in various centres around the globe can be moved to India. The project will almost certainly affect employees in London.

The firm’s management earlier this year set a target of £30m in savings and is set to launch a series of other initiatives apart from the offshoring project.

Clifford Chance currently runs a small document production centre in India, which it began trialling in January 2005 as part of the firm’s original plan to save £40m in costs.

Managing partner David Childs told The Lawyer: “If we proceed with this proposal, it would be a continuation of the process we started over two years ago of standardising and centralising many of our routine business processes.

“In common with many of our clients, we are looking for ways of working that provide a more flexible cost model, greater responsiveness to our clients’ needs, plus increased efficiency, and a better business continuity capability.”

In December 2004 Childs, who was then chief executive officer at the firm, announced plans to axe £40m in costs, representing a total of £100,000 extra profit per equity partner over two years. That programme saw a centralisation of all internal business services, including HR, IT, property management and global procurement.

In May this year The Lawyer revealed that the firm had axed a total of 700 business support jobs over three years. That reduction in headcount allowed the firm to let out two floors at its Canary Wharf headquarters, which is thought to save it another £2m a year.