Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has made all of its paralegals in London redundant, after an analysis of work patterns and demand for their services.
The US firm confirmed to The Lawyer that it will no longer recruit paralegals in London, having made three paralegals redundant. A spokesperson said: “We confirm that we have made three paralegals redundant in our London office. This was regrettable but followed a 9 month review of work patterns that indicated that there was no longer the same level of demand for their services as had historically existed.
“Those services are now being provided by a combination of our junior administrative staff and, where it helps to provide additional training in areas such as court work, trainee solicitors in their disputes seats, in order to give them further exposure to the practical workings of the litigation process.”
According to the The Lawyer’s US Top 50 report, the firm has 107 lawyers in London, 21 of which are partners, the same number that it had four years ago. Only two of these partners are women.
The firm is famously conservative when it comes to lateral hires. The one partner it brought in in 2018 was James Norris-Jones, a disputes specialist from Herbert Smith Freehills, who joined in April. It also moved Nick Levy over from its Brussels office to work on antitrust matters.
Its focus when it comes to growth tends to be on growing partners in-house. It made up banking litigator James Brady at the beginning of 2019, as well as private equity lawyer Nallini Puri at the start of 2018. She joined from former Indian firm Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co in 2008 as an associate.
Cleary Gottlieb opened in London in 1971 and began practising English law in 1997. It moved offices in the City last year to a new development on London Wall Place after being based across the road on Basingall Street.
Other firms that have recently carried out staff reviews include Baker McKenzie, which is currently carrying out a three-year consultation over business service roles. Last year, Ashurst culled more than half of its secretarial staff in London, confirming that 54 of its 100-strong secretarial team had been made redundant following a consultation which put 80 jobs at risk.
This March, five to ten London-based back office finance staff were made redundant and their roles undertaken by a secretarial pool in London and in its support services office in Glasgow.