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More positions are at risk as part of the firm’s three-year global reorganization of its professional and business services function.

By Rose Walker | June 25, 2019 at 10:50 AM

Baker McKenzie London office, 100 New Bridge Street.

Baker McKenzie has cut 46 roles across its London-based professional and business services teams, with another 33 positions at risk.

The cuts follow a consultation that kicked off last year as part of a three-year assessment of Bakers’ global professional and business services capabilities.

A total of 97 roles were initially identified as at risk and placed under review by the firm, with 18 people resigning as a result. A further 15 redundancies have been made, while another 31 roles were scrapped, with the people in those positions moving to different roles at the firm, the firm confirmed.

The 33 positions that remain at risk are currently under review, and they are spread across the firm’s human resources, finance, business development, marketing and communications, and knowledge management teams.

A firm spokesperson said in a statement: ”The ongoing review in London is part of the firm’s three-year global reorganization of our professional business services functions, which includes the creation of new roles, growth in our service centers and investments in new technologies and new services.

“We are grateful to our people in London and globally for their engagement, professionalism and patience throughout this process to date. We continue to work with those still in roles at risk and in cases where suitable alternative roles are unavailable will offer an enhanced redundancy package.”

Meanwhile the firm has engaged real estate firm Savills as it attempts to slim down its City space.

Currently, Bakers occupies around 160,000 square feet in its 100 New Bridge Street offices, and the firm has appointed Savills to find it space not exceeding 150,000 square feet.

The firm is also considering remaining at its current headquarters, where its lease runs until 2023.

A Bakers London partner told Legal Week: “Like every law firm, we’ve concluded we can probably do with less space. One option is to refurbish the current building and add another floor on top, but everyone would like to move to a nice shiny office. We’re in a good location but the space is tired, and clients want the wow factor.”

The firm re-organized the layout of its London base in recent years in order to better use its current space, including moving its business services and corporate teams to an open-plan environment.

Baker McKenzie chief operating officer Simon Thompson confirmed the firm has instructed Savills and added in a statement: “We are trialing new ways of working in our current workspace to better understand how we work, identify what our real business needs are and to design how we may want to occupy space in the future.”