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Exclusive: Stephenson Harwood to sack half its secretaries
07 February 2014
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Stephenson Harwood is making almost half of its London secretarial and support staff redundant.

Insiders say that the firm is outsourcing its secretarial work to Scotland. It's not known how many staff are to be shown the door, but insiders say that they're being offered statutory redundancy pay, the bare minimum. As one secretary said, "that's only a week's pay for every year you've been there. Disgusting."

Stephenson Harwood is the latest in a number of firms to outsource its work to less costly parts of the UK. Allen & Overy pocketed a £2.5m grant when it moved 180 staff to Belfast in 2011, much to the disdain of the Ulster Unionist Party. And Ashurst set up a low cost office in Glasgow last summer. It will pocket a £2.4m grant from a regional quango if it manages to employ 300 people within five years. Which will presumably be of little comfort to the 120 who lost their jobs in London.

    Alec Salmond welcoming the news, yesterday

In a statement provided to RollOnFriday Stephenson Harwood said that "the aim of this reorganisation is to provide a more efficient and cost effective secretarial service to our fee earners – a move which has been undertaken by many law firms. Regrettably the proposed reorganisation will entail a reduction in secretarial and document production staffing levels and will inevitably result in some redundancies.”


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