Ashurst has confirmed that it has launched a redundancy consultation that puts 80% of its London secretarial roles at risk.

The consultation, which was initially revealed by RollonFriday, includes 80 of the firm’s 100 London-based secretarial roles, as well as a handful of positions in the Middle East.

As part of plans to restructure the function, the firm is creating three new roles, with the downsized new team set to be split across the London and Glasgow offices.

Thirty-five practice executives will be responsible for practice management and client communications, while 31 team executives and 12 team assistants will undertake more traditional secretarial tasks.

All of Ashurst’s existing secretarial staff will be able to apply for the new positions, which will primarily be in London, with nine of the team executive and assistant roles moving to Glasgow.

Ashurst chief financial and operations officer Jan Gooze Zijl said: “Responding to changing client needs, evolving technology, market efficiency drives and embracing new ways of working are strategic priorities for Ashurst. The way legal work is undertaken has changed considerably and we need an approach to service delivery that most effectively supports the practices and our business.”

Chief people officer Caroline Rawes added: “We have undertaken a comprehensive review of how our secretarial function operates and this requires us to make some difficult decisions in relation to the teams. Ultimately, however, it is critical to have the right people, with the right skills, doing the right work in the right location. We believe the new structure will achieve that and will also allow us to create a career path which motivates and retains staff and drives high performance. We will be fully supporting our people during this process.”

The consultation is due to end in June.