Clifford Chance to allow lawyers to work remotely up to 50% of the time

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By Thomas Connelly on

New policy comes into effect once Covid restrictions are lifted on 21 June

Clifford Chance has become the latest law firm to introduce a new, long-term flexible working policy, with the magic circle player set to allow its UK lawyers to work remotely for up to 50% of their time.

CC lawyers and staff will be expected to be in the office for a minimum of 50% of their working hours depending on the requirements for their role. The policy comes into effect when the last of the government’s restrictions are lifted on 21 June.

In a statement, UK managing partner Michael Bates, said:

“In listening to feedback from our people and considering how to support high performance, productivity and wellbeing, we believe we should work in a more agile and flexible way than we have historically.”

He added: “We are therefore looking to establish an approach that will balance flexibility with the collaboration, teamwork, creativity, training, development and other benefits we gain from spending time in our office environment.”

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The fresh approach follows similar moves by fellow MC players Freshfields and Linklaters, which have recently given the go-ahead for their lawyers and staff to work away from the office for up to half the time. Elsewhere, Allen & Overy said it anticipates staff will work remotely for around 40% of the time once the pandemic has passed.

Other law firms to implement hybrid work policies include Norton Rose Fulbright, Taylor Wessing, Herbert Smith Freehills and Squire Patton Boggs.

Not everyone is dreading a return to office life.

Many exasperated rookies have taken to our comments section in recent weeks to express their frustration at home-working, with one claiming “senior people don’t quite grasp how awful it is”. They continued:

“Most trainees are in house shares or live alone in small apartments. The learning by osmosis and being able to sit round the partners table and listen in on calls without being announced: gone.”

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