Travers Smith lawyers can now work ‘whenever and wherever is most appropriate’

Including trainees

Travers Smith has become the latest City outfit to embrace agile working.

Rolled out this week, the new initiative — described as a “significant step forward in embedding an agile working culture across the firm” — will be open to all lawyers and support staff. The silver circle firm has confirmed to Legal Cheek that trainees will also be able to benefit.

According to Travers, “working agilely means working whenever and wherever is most appropriate, if an individual’s role, personal development requirements and business needs permit.”

In a bid to encourage uptake, those wishing to take advantage of the new initiative will not have to seek “formal” permission first. Stressing that client service and development will “remain paramount”, Travers says it will be up to the individual to decide whether working away from the office is the right thing to do.

Travers Smith’s managing partner, David Patient, noted one of the “key issues” facing the firm is maintaining work/life balance while still meeting clients’ expectations. Continuing, he said:

We are fully aware that new technologies and the demands of working across different time zones in today’s global market are transforming the modern workplace. It is therefore important to us to remain competitive and support the needs of our people and clients, and to continue to be able to attract and retain the greatest diversity of talent.

This latest news comes weeks after global law firm Reed Smith confirmed it had implemented a new agile working policy within its London office. A more “ad-hoc approach” to office life, the scheme allows “all personnel” to work away from the office and operate on flexible hours.

Other firms to unveil similar initiatives include Macfarlanes, Freshfields, White & Case, Shearman & Sterling and Herbert Smith Freehills.

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21 Comments

Anonymous

There seems to be a typo in the headline. It should read as follows:

“Travers Smith lawyers can now work ‘whenever and wherever’… THE PARTNER IN CHARGE ARBITRARILY CONSIDERS appropriate ON ANY GIVEN DAY.”

(32)(0)
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Anonymous

Whilst there may or may not be exceptions to the overall policy at Travers here, it’s a remarkably sensible one. Lots of other organisations (including the civil service) work this way.

I work at home one or two days a week, and sometimes will work part of the day at home coming in for meetings and catchups. It’s a lifesaver. I work harder, am more efficient and am much less stressed and more happy. The time coming into and out of the office on the tube is a waste of time, and physically and psychologically exhausting. I am always on skype so colleagues can contact me instantly about anything whenever no matter how early or late, it doesn’t bother me, my office phone directs to my mobile.

There are lots of problems with law firms and offices. Firstly, the work load is not even. There are periods in everyone’s working day very often where there is little to nothing to do, it’s very quiet. And then a huge load of work will come to you at 4pm which means you have to work till 10-11pm. You can’t really enjoy the quiet periods in an office, it’s just unnecessary face time where you try to look busy. It’s exhausting inefficiency. Secondly, some firms have open offices (God help them) where if you need to do serious work, you’re not going to easily be able to concentrate anyway. When you’ve got more casual work, it’s more enjoyable to do it in your PJs with the radio on the background.

It’s amazing more law firms haven’t done this. Tech is supposed to make people’s lives easier. Instead the net and computers has made lawyers’ lives so much worse because of the constant 24/7 of it all. It’s about time firms used tech to improve e’ees’ lives.

(36)(1)
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Jones Day Partner

This person knows what he’s talking about. Home offices rock, especially when my ‘friendly’ trainee pays me a cheeky visit. 😉💦

(12)(20)
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Anonymous

Agile working seems to be wholly dependent on the culture of the firm and the drive of those employed.
Its when employees start seeing agile working as a right rather than a privilege or refuse to attend certain meetings because “I work from home on Fridays” that problems arise…

(6)(1)
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Anonymous

Yeah, its like these compulsory “Mental Health and Well-being” meetings we had when I was working at an investment bank. We would come in, sit down, listen about how important it is not to overwork yourself, talk to somebody if there are issues and when to say no. We would then stand up and get back to out desks. That must have been around 7PM as I remember we went there 6PM.

All talk no walk.

(8)(0)
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Pied Piper

Rumours have it Irwin Mitchell are in merger talks with Ashurst, to create a “revolutionary, trans-Pacific Personal Injury POWERHOUSE”.

Official statement to follow.

(6)(1)
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Anonymous

Travers does not, as far as I am aware, issue its staff with laptops. You have to sign one out and there is a very limited supply. That may be changing / have changed, but this is fairly pointless unless everyone has a company laptop.

I have a surface at my shop. All lawyers can choose between that or a laptop.

(0)(0)
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DWFer

Irwin Mitchell has a similar initiative – partly because by the time its staff leave home and commute to work they have lost their job anyway, so they are then free to do as they please.

For those who manage to get to work and are then informed, they always have the choice to unwind by making “custard cream towers” in a back room with their legendary factory seconds.

(2)(0)
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