Biglaw, Layoffs, Secretaries / Administrative Assistants, Staff Layoffs

Nationwide Layoff Watch: A Reorganization Claims More Jobs


From: Whitley, L. Tracee
Sent: Thursday, January 23, 2014 2:00 PM
To: zz personnel all; zz bingham consulting all; zz bingham strategic advisors
Subject: Administrative Staffing Changes

Since 2011, we have been working to transform Bingham’s administrative organization with an eye toward the future. We have transitioned a number of staff functions and positions to our Global Services Center in Lexington; transitioned other support staff to outsource providers, primarily DTI; and undertaken a comprehensive procurement program with Profit Recovery Partners. As a result of the efficiencies achieved through these programs, the evolution of legal practice support needs, technology advancements, and the current low-growth state of the legal industry, we are taking the following next steps:

1. Reduction in Force for Administrative Departmental Staff: Yesterday and earlier today, we eliminated 31 staff positions across various administrative departments. These reductions follow other voluntary staff departures and position cancellations, which together with the reduction-in-force, are enabling us to realign our staff headcount with our current practice and business needs. Despite the necessity of these changes, they are never easy to undertake and we sincerely appreciate our affected staff members’ many years of dedication and service. They will be receiving severance packages and outplacement assistance commensurate with their tenure and position levels.

2. Model Changes for Secretarial Support and Revenue Management Team: We have determined two significant areas — secretarial support and revenue management — in which we must better align our staffing levels to industry benchmarks and implement new staffing models to provide service to our lawyers. Given the critical roles our secretarial, business intake, client accounting, billing and collections team members play in support of our business, we will be implementing the planned changes over time in order to minimize disruptions.

·         Secretarial Support — We will be implementing a new team-based approach to the provision of secretarial support in our U.S. offices. In the new model, partners will retain a primary secretarial relationship while also having access to a secretarial team. Each team will be structured to service a group of lawyers. Through a team support model, we intend to provide our lawyers with access to a broader set of support skills and expanded hours of secretarial coverage in each office. We will be scheduling local meetings with all lawyers and secretaries in our U.S. offices in the coming weeks to discuss the timeframe and approach for transition to this new support model.

·         Revenue Management Team — After a comprehensive review of the administrative processes that support end-to-end revenue management in our finance department, i.e., client intake, matter set-up, case management, billing and collections, we are reorganizing that function to better serve the partnership. The reorganization includes transitioning 22 positions to our Global Services Center in Lexington and retaining 31 positions across our offices. Many of the retained positions will be restructured to better support our partners’ practices. We plan to have our new revenue management team fully in place in May, and we hope that many of our current team members will consider transfers to Lexington.

In conclusion, we deeply regret having to eliminate the jobs of any members of our tightly knit community. But we are confident these changes will better align our administrative organization with our current business needs, help us work even more efficiently, and strengthen our firm for the future.

Please contact Lynn Carroll or me about any general questions you may have about any of these actions. Chris Matz can also answer specific questions about the secretarial support changes and Carol Sabochick can answer specific questions about the revenue management team changes.

Thank you,


L. Tracee Whitley
Chief Operating Officer
Bingham McCutchen LLP

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