BLM to close Leeds office and switch staff to remote working

BLM to close Leeds office and switch staff to remote working

Insurance and commercial law firm BLM will not renew the leases on its Leeds and Bristol offices.

Existing staff in both offices will switch to remote working when the leases end, which BLM says will happen “soon”. The firm is also in consultation to make a number of roles within its legal support and corporate services teams redundant.

Announcing the news, Matthew Harrington, senior partner of BLM, said the firm’s staff working in Leeds and Bristol “will be very much a part of the future”.

He said: “This is an opportunity to launch a new way of working, retaining local links but operating in a virtual way. Essentially, we will continue to be an efficient and dynamic firm, challenging the conventional status quo of the insurance law market.”

Harrington said that since the outbreak of Covid-19, BLM has made “significant advances towards becoming a digital first business”. 

He said: “From a business perspective, there are many advantages we can take away from the last few months; a rapid advancement of our paperless project, agile and flexible working and increased use of technology to work in a more digital way, to name a few. It’s fair to say that we have seen seismic changes in the way we work and much of this will become embedded in how we conduct our business going forward.”

Commenting on the redundancies, Harrington said: “It is with regret that we will also need to make some difficult decisions which will impact our colleagues. While we have plans in place to deal with lots of different crisis scenarios, we could never have fully known the impact this pandemic would have on our business and the need to rapidly accelerate our digital strategy, transforming the way we are working.”

“Usually, such transformational change would evolve over many months and even years and in turn we would manage and adapt our workforce over time. We are now faced with having to adapt our internal teams to reflect the way we have all been working throughout the last few months as well as the skills and resources we need, and the way in which we want to operate as a firm in the future.”

He continued: “We are working with all affected colleagues to support them as best we can through this difficult time.”

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Mark Dugdale

Mark is the Editor of Yorkshire Legal. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached by emailing mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk