Field Fisher Waterhouse has made 15 secretaries redundant, in preparation for its move into its new office near London Bridge.
The decision to axe the staff, who hailed from various practice groups across the firm’s City office, followed a five-month review of the firm’s secretarial team.
A spokesperson for FFW said: “Like many other firms across the City, we have reviewed the changing nature of our administrative services against our evolving business needs going forward. We have developed a new structure for administrative support which offers greater flexibility and responsiveness for all our fee earners.”
It is thought that the cuts are related to the firm’s recent investment in updated technology, which will feature in its new riverside office space on Swan Lane, EC4 (4 June 2013).
The firm’s managing partner Michael Chissick told The Lawyer last month (4 April 2014): “There will be a real focus on visual communications with heavy use of Skype-style engagement with clients and internally.” He continued: “We can’t reveal too much yet, but we’ll be installing technology that no other law firm is currently using.”
FFW’s London staff will be moving into their new offices in two tranches, with business services and management moving today (16 May) and the remainder following next week. A complete overhaul of the firm’s branding is expected shortly.
Last month, CMS Cameron McKenna and Dundas & Wilson cut 60 support roles ahead of their £277m merger (30 April 2014). Meanwhile, DWF cut 19 operational roles in its finance department (17 April 2014), Ince & Co cut 10 fee-earning roles and six support staff jobs in London, while Stephenson Harwood axed 27 secretarial roles in March.
For more details on the changes underway at FFW, see our blog: FFW managing partner Chissick: Back to the future.