Stephenson Harwood axes 27 secretarial jobs as consultation closes

Stephenson Harwood has axed 15 per cent of its secretarial jobs, as a result of a redundancy consultation which kicked off last month (5 February 2014).

The consultation followed an internal review of the firm’s secretarial and document production services in the City, which concluded a “significant reorganisation” was necessary. 

Stephenson Harwood chief executive Sharon White said the restructuring aimed to, “provide a more cost-efficient and cost-effective secretarial service to our fee-earners.” 

She continued: “Unfortunately, we have had to make 27 secretaries redundant. All secretaries have now been informed. We wish all of those not staying with Stephenson Harwood the best in their future careers.” 

The firm declined to comment on how many roles were initially put at risk, or the alternative structure that it intends to put in place. 

According to the firm’s LLP accounts for the 2012/13 financial year it had 180 support staff on its books, an increase on the 173 recorded the previous year. This total will have shrunk to around 153 following the latest cuts. 

At the half-way point of the 2013/14 financial year, Stephenson Harwood reported a turnover of £57m, a 10 per cent uptick in revenue on the £51.4m figure it posted at the same point last year (22 November 2013).

In February, a number of other firms announced job cuts including Ince & Co which launched a redundancy consultation with 10 shipping and finance fee-earners and six secretarial staff (13 February 2013).

Meanwhile, Addleshaw Goddard entered redundancy talks with two associates in its Manchester-based employment team (11 February 2014).