Baker & McKenzie becomes latest City outfit to embrace flexi-working movement

Avatar photo

By Thomas Connelly on

But does the hot law firm trend really help stressed out lawyers?


Baker & McKenzie has confirmed it will implement agile working policies across all 76 of its offices, including London.

Chicago-headquartered international heavyweight Bakers revealed its lawyers and support staff will be able to take advantage of a number of new policies that will allow them to work away from the office and operate on flexible hours.

The firm’s London base has operated an informal agile working policy for quite some time now, and it’s understood this has formed the template for the new global policy. Speaking to The Lawyer (£), Baker & McKenzie’s chief talent officer, Peter May, said:

Some of [the offices] had formal policies in place, some of them did not. This is really an attempt to get all the offices up to the same level. You will see increased productivity, because we are adapting the workplace to our people. There will be reduced absenteeism, and improved employee moral and responsiveness.

The firm — which scored a respectable B grade for work/life balance in Legal Cheek’s 2016/17 annual law firm survey — is one of a number of City firms to trumpet their flexi-working initiatives in recent months.

Earlier this summer, Macfarlanes, Freshfields and White & Case unveiled policies allowing their lawyers to work from the comfort of their own homes. This followed similar moves by the likes of Shearman & Sterling, Herbert Smith Freehills, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Dentons, Mishcon de Reya and Nabarro.

But despite the major push by City firms, some lawyers are still sceptical about the stress-busting tactics. Speaking to Legal Cheek back in May, one corporate lawyer — who didn’t want to be named — said:

Two of our solicitors work out of office and it’s a f*cking nightmare. Getting correspondence to them, dealing with calls, dealing with an absolute sh*tstorm if they decide to turn their phones off.