Payroll outsourcing ensures peace of mind at international law firm

In 1960, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP was the first US law firm to come to Brussels. Its Belgian branch now has 85 lawyers hailing from multiple countries and is well-known in the legal world. Internal mobility, however, meant that they were appointing a new payroll officer every three years. Until the law firm decided to entrust the payroll to SD Worx in full in 2018, that is. This structural outsourcing now ensures continuity and quality too.
We got on well with the SD Worx project manager from the start. That's important. Good communication can make or break your outsourcing. This remains a people business.
Cleary Gottlieb
Bert Van der Wee Director of Administration Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

The challenge: safeguarding payroll continuity

At Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, new talent tends to advance rather rapidly. As a result, the law firm had to look for a new payroll officer every three years on average, requiring training and familiarisation with social security and labour laws each time. And if they were absent for any reason, this immediately created great pressure on the payroll. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP realised this was not an ideal situation. What they needed was a long-term solution.

The solution: structural outsourcing

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has successfully collaborated with SD Worx on their payroll and personnel administration for many years. That made the move from payroll service provider to structural outsourcing partner a logical choice. SD Worx has now been responsible for the entire payroll since the spring of 2018.

Both parties monitored proceedings closely during the transition period. To maximise transparency, SD Worx carefully designed all the processes in accordance with fixed formulas. The law firm also kept its employees informed about the developments. This system worked well, and staff had very few questions about payroll outsourcing in the following months. For those that did, they could still ask the HR team's internal contact person or submit their questions to a shared mailbox.

The result: peace of mind

Structural payroll outsourcing means the law firm's HR department can breathe a sigh of relief. The recurrent need for targeted training of new payroll staff is a thing of the past. The payroll is guaranteed even when someone falls ill, is promoted or leaves the company. And though the outsourcing takes place off-site, SD Worx is never far; a shared mailbox ensures that all the employees' questions get answered in short order.