Linklaters trainees can work from home without explaining why

By on

Aims to remove ‘stereotyping or challenges’ around flexi-working, magic circle player says

Trainees and junior lawyers at Linklaters will now be able to work from the comfort of their own homes without needing to explain why.

Links said key changes to its UK working policy mean that “any employee” can now request to work flexibly, no matter how long they’ve been at the firm, and without needing to provide a reason for the request. The update goes over and above the statutory requirement of having been employed for 26 weeks to be eligible to make a request.

The firm hopes the move will remove any stereotyping or challenges that may exist around who can work flexibly and the structures in place.

Nick Porter, partner and chair of the London people committee at Links, said:

“We believe that agile working is for everyone and that the right to request formal flexible working should be open to all. Looking at how it can work rather than why ensures we continue the journey of shifting mindsets about working flexibly and the reasons for doing so.”

Links’ flexi-working shake-up comes almost two years after it offered its lawyers the option to work fewer hours for less money. The pilot, which took place across the outfit’s four German offices, eventually saw a number of associates accept a 33% reduction in salary, on the understanding they’re only expected to work a standard 40-hour week.

The 2019 Legal Cheek Firms Most List




We all know what the W stands for.


Yes. Working.




Huh? Why? Isn’t that what it stands for?


You’ll go far.


Fundamental misunderstanding of the policy – a request isnt automatically accepted, it is just a relaxation of when you can ask for flexible working. Terrible journalism


“any employee can now request to work flexibly”



Linklaters trainees will not be able to kill any prospect of being retained without explaining why.

Come on, if those policies were to actually be used, especially by the lowest on the ladder, we wouldn’t make a deal of it. If you don’t show up you are killing your career one way or another. Just because they allow you to does not mean you should do it.

LL Associate

I worked from home as a trainee sometimes and it didn’t impact me negatively in any way. All my former principals work from home religiously. As did (and do) most of the partners I worked for.

The only way working from home impacts people badly is if they work with morons who refuse to make it work. In most LL departments it’s become completely normal to WFH one day a week, from NQ to partner.

Frankly it’s pathetic that so many other firms still can’t get over it. The comments here about ruining your career are presumably from bitter losers who’s partners can’t trust them enough to let them work outside their cubicles. It’s not the reality at LL – and guess what? The work still gets done.

LL Associate

*whose FFS


Good comment, but it’ll fall on deaf ears. 90% of the trolls commenting on LC get misty-eyed and bat off daily to the thoughts of toiling at some US sweatshop so they’ll just mock you for “working at Links lmao shet firm”.

Thankfully most normal people realise that working at LL is an exceptional and oftentimes very rewarding opportunity.


Lol Cooley smashes da shit outta MC bums


Lol Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo smashes da shit outta Cooley bonuses

US top firm nq

Links lmao shet firm


Same at CC.


I trained at HoLo and they were also quite good at encouraging juniors (including trainees) to work from home if they felt it wouldn’t impact their work. It had precisely zero bearing on retention and I felt it actually prepared me better for more independent time management as an associate. Facetime culture is, politely, bollocks.

LL Associate

You call it HoLo, I call it HogLove.


An actual top, top titan firm.



Thou shalt take not the name of the Greenberg thy titan in vain.


Yes, they can work from home without explaining why and simultaneously kiss goodbye to any prospect of promotion for the rest of their career at the firm. This is a completely meaningless gesture, seeing as corporate culture will always expect attendance in the office regardless.


If there is a way to voluntarily provide a reason the whole scheme would be undercut. If you made it impossible to provide a reason then it’s even more damaging.

When you remove people’s ability to explain something people will start to assume the worst. No way to tell between the employee who is lazy and the employee who needs to care for their sick mother. Both can end up losing out.

It’s exactly what happens when you prevent people asking about criminal records – they just fall back on their stereotypes because they can’t actually use, y’know, the actual data and information. This hurts the groups you hoped to help.

A non-knee mousse

Lol hope their insurers know


Not something you need to declare to insurer.


Unless the new policy is likely to result in increased PI claims, which I don’t see how.


WHy is he in his boxer shorts?


Because he’s WFH. See above comment.


He is trying to start a family and so is trying to boost his sperm count.


You’re hired.


Cos he is a wanker.


Like this ever happens

You’ll be in to 3 am everyday as a trainee


No. No. You’ll be working from home until 3 am everyday instead. Which is of course much better.


I feel like Anon @3.31 has never been a trainee.


Can second six pupils do this and Facetime the bench?


I just don’t think it’s appropriate for trainees (whatever firm they are at) to regularly work from home. By all means if they need to work from home in the evening or because of an emergency or one off, completely fair enough, but you need supervision and ultimately learn by observing/people getting you involved in everything that’s going on.

It’s also a surefire way to piss the associates off – it’s not fair, but they’ll remember the one time they needed you to make a bundle or pour through some dry books in the department library and you were working from home over the twenty when you diligently worked through your to-do list.

Sociapath? Maybe.

I judge all people on their failures. The only time I consider changing that stance is when they put some bloody welly into correcting themselves.

It becomes clear pretty quickly those who keep screwing up, and then attempt to point the finger elsewhere for their shortfalls.


I find the supervision point quite silly. More and more partners and associates WFH, especially on Fridays. Sometimes there aren’t any “supervisors” in the office at all.

Side note. I did a Friday signing recently and the firm on the other side had not initialled all of the agreed form documents. They were unable to provide these when asked as all 3 lawyers on the other side were WFH and none had a printer and scanner. This obviously shows failings much greater than the supervision/being in the office point. Although as I write this, perhaps if the other side had had a trainee on the deal and made them work from the office on Fridays, they could have made the trainee do this and could have avoided this… Although, they could have asked anyone that was in the office to initial and scan the documents, on the deal or not. Oh well, the deal has since closed.


Or buy a home printer / scanner.


Completely agree. Although it was probably a little tight in timing to get them to pop down to the nearest Curries or the like. Regardless, not very impressed with that little turn of events.





Or ‘Working from Cardboard Box’ in the case of Irwin Mitchell trainees.

Join the conversation

Related Stories