Interim measure includes trainees
Freshfields joins a recent swathe of law firms allowing their lawyers and staff to work remotely for up to half the time.
The magic circle firm yesterday announced a new agile working policy for lawyers, including trainees, and business professionals to work from home for up to 50% of their time provided that any arrangements take account of client and business commitments.
The policy comes into effect when government restrictions on office-based work have been lifted, and is an interim measure recognising that preferences may evolve as offices re-open. It applies in the firm’s London and Manchester offices.
Claire Wills, London managing partner, said: “Our guidance follows feedback from colleagues who signalled a clear preference for more flexibility but also recognises the importance of in-person interaction to our culture, personal development and client engagement.”
Olivia Balson, director of Freshfields’ global centre, located in Manchester, added: “We still see the office location for the Global Centre in Manchester as holding an important role in our connections, our collaboration, development and innovation. At the same time, we strongly believe in the value of a balance between remote and office-based working.”
Freshies is the latest law firm to offer staff a balance between remote and office-based working. Magic circle rival Linklaters 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 law firms to implement similar hybrid work policies include Norton Rose Fulbright, Taylor Wessing, Herbert Smith Freehills and Squire Patton Boggs.
Freshfields recently re-located its London headquarters to 100 Bishopsgate, a brand spanking new skyscraper in the Square Mile.