FRESHFIELDS Bruckhaus Deringer could become the latest law firm to move its back office workers north to a Manchester service centre, in a push to cut its rent bill in London.
Staff at the Fleet Street offices were told yesterday of the plan, which imitates other firms such as Berwin Leighton Paisner and Allen & Overy in moving support staff and paralegals to office space in Manchester, which can be 50 per cent cheaper.
US firm Latham & Watkins also plans to open a business services office in Manchester by June. Freshfields has instructed Knight Frank to look for 100,000 sq ft premises in the city centre as it aims to cut costs. Freshfields declined to comment last night.
The law firm employs around 2,000 staff, but many of them won’t be affected if the move goes ahead.
Since 1989 Freshfields has occupied a 230,000 sq ft space at 65 Fleet Street.