DLA Piper puts 251 in consultation across UK as firm mulls Glasgow closure

DLA Piper has put 251 staff in consultation in one of the biggest rounds of redundancies yet in the UK legal market’s recent spate of layoffs.

Tony Angel
Tony Angel

The firm has confirmed it is considering closing its Glasgow office, its defendant insurance practice and bringing into one place its document production unit following a review of its UK operations.

It follows the hire of Tony Angel as senior partner late last year (26 October 2011), with the former Linklaters managing partner carrying a review of the UK business aimed at cutting out wastage (1 June 2012).

A DLA Piper spokesperson said in a statement: “Following a comprehensive review of our UK business designed to ensure that we are operating in a manner, in the locations, and across the practice areas that support both our strategic objectives and the needs of our clients, we have begun a period of consultation in the UK that will consider the possible closure of our Glasgow office, the closure or divestment of our defendant insurance practice and the consolidation into one location of our current multi-site document production unit.”

The consultation process puts 116 jobs at risk in document production, plus 85 employees in Glasgow and a further 50 in defendant insurance, totalling 227.51 full-time equivalent jobs.

A detailed plan of the exercise released by the firm states that the consultation in the defendant insurance, document production and Glasgow units will begin on 28 November and completed “early in the new year”.

It also highlights an “enhanced scheme that will be discussed with employee representatives” as the redundancy package and says there could be staff transfers to Edinburgh.

The plan for the defendant insurance unit is a going concern transfer, while the process in the document production unit could see employees transferred to Leeds, where the firm says vacancies will be available.

The firm said: “We are establishing a consultation forum which enables the DPU [document production unit] teams in all offices to participate in the consultation process as we believe it is fairer for all DPU teams to be extended the same privileges, irrespective of numbers.”

The exercise does not include trainees, the firm also confirmed.

The news follows a string of redundancies among leading UK firms, with Lawrence Graham (9 November 2012), Pinsent Masons (8 November 2012) and Pannone (12 November 2012) all announcing consultation rounds in the past week.

For more on Tony Angel and DLA Piper, see feature

DLA Piper’s consultation exercise in full

      Heads FTE
Defendant Insurance Partners   4 3.6
  Fee Earners 27 24.96
Business Support   19 16.39
  Total 50 44.95
Document Production – Birmingham Business Support   11 10.86
Document Production – Edinburgh Business Support   10 8.68
Document Production -Glasgow Business Support   11 8.62
Document Production -Leeds Business Support   23 20.98
Document Production – Liverpool Business Support   13 11.16
Document Production -London Business Support   20 18.26
Document Production – Manchester Business Support   14 13.21
Document Production -Sheffield Business Support   14 12.34
  Total   116 104.11
Glasgow Partner   10 10
  Fee earners 25 23.3
Business Support   50 45.15
  Total 85 78.45
  Overall Total   251 227.51