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A&O anticipates 40% home-working after lockdown

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Office will remain ‘incredibly important’ for culture and personal development, says magic circle firm

Allen & Overy anticipates its lawyers and staff will work remotely for around 40% of the time once the pandemic has passed.

The magic circle law firm is the latest to rethink its remote-working arrangements after Freshfields announced this week it is to bring in a new policy allowing lawyers and staff to work from home for up to 50% of the time.

A&O said it will continue with remote-working once lockdown restrictions have lifted and expects around 60% of work will be done from the office in the future.

A spokesperson for the firm said: “Over the course of the last year we have proven the ability for most of us to work successfully from home, and we will continue to support our people to work flexibly on an ongoing basis.”

They continued:

“As we move forward we believe that the office will remain incredibly important in terms of preserving our culture and community and in providing a space for personal development.”

Legal Cheek’s Living Room Law virtual conference on 22 April: Secure your free place

Linklaters is the only other magic circle member to publicly reveal its post-COVID work plans. The firm confirmed in the summer that lawyers and staff can work remotely for up to 20-50% of the time as part of a new long-term global policy. Other City law firms have introduced similar hybrid work policies.

As law firms around the globe prepare to re-open their offices, some of our trainee and junior lawyer readers have expressed fears that a “two-tiered” profession may emerge: on the one hand are lawyers that choose to work in the office and on the other, those who choose to work from home.

“For me the issue is not whether you allow flexible working (that ship has sailed, it’s happening) but how you manage a team or firm that’s split between the office and home,” wrote one anonymous commenter. “It can be very tricky to ensure the members of the team who WFH feel equally included.”

Legal Cheek’s Living Room Law virtual conference on 22 April: Secure your free place

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