Hundreds of jobs in the City are under threat as firms review the need for secretaries and business support staff amid the pandemic.
Pinsent Masons, DWF, Clyde & Co and Dentons are the latest to announce redundancy consultations, citing the impact of coronavirus on office life.
Between 20 and 30 facilities roles could be cut at Pinsent Masons, which predicted that fewer solicitors and clients will visit its offices in the future.
Managing partner John Cleland said Covid-19 has ‘permanently changed’ the way the firm works, and ‘all of the internal and externally available data confirms that colleagues who’ve worked productively and effectively from home will wish to continue to do so, to a material extent, once the pandemic ends’.
DWF is to axe around 40 secretarial and support staff, while up to 24 fee-earners at Dentons could face redundancy following the acceleration of the firm’s digital strategy. A spokesperson said job losses should be ‘significantly reduced’ by the creation of ‘virtual roles’ which do not require solicitors to be present in the office. Dentons is to close its offices in Aberdeen and Watford in a push for full-time remote working.
New ‘agile working strategies’ are also emerging. Taylor Wessing and Linklaters have both announced that solicitors will be able to work from home up to half the week once the pandemic has passed. Taylor Wessing said lawyers have shown a ‘clear preference’ to divide their time between home and office.