Very interesting press release from WilmerHale yesterday announcing that this September they are opening a 187 employee “Business Service Center” in Dayton, Ohio. WilmerHale is moving existing employees from their current offices (along with some new hires) to handle the administrative support functions for the following areas:

  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • Operations
  • Document Review and Management
  • Practice Management
The idea behind the centralization is to “provide improved efficiencies for administrative teams and the firm, and reduce significant operational expenses.” 
I did notice that other departments — Library, Knowledge Management, Marketing, Business Development to name a few– missed the cut to be included in this consolidation of administrative functions. At least they missed it this time around. It makes me think whether these departments could actually work under a centralized method that is outside any of the actual offices that house lawyers??  Quite frankly, I can see a strong argument for both sides. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of these WilmerHale departments eventually winding up in Dayton.
I do have one suggestion for WilmerHale to rethink the name they’ve given to this centralization project…  don’t be surprised if those that you’re asking to relocate, or those attorneys that have to deal with the logistics of a remote staff end up calling the “Business Service Center”, the “BS Center”.  
[Update 4/28]
According to the Springfield (Ohio) News-Sun, WilmerHale was offered a $1.46 million job creation tax credit, and there will be $1.25 in City and County “economic development grants” to support this move.
That answers the “how can they afford to move so many people” question…
The new WilmerHale Business Services Center facility is actually in Kettering and previously housed Deloitte Consulting.