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

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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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Most people prefer working from home.



Cool story bro.


Anonymous 2

Says who? I want data not mere gossip.


Anonymous 3

Do you even know where you are?



Recipe for disaster. All well and good now when you know everyone is wfh so you have dial ins on auto. But likely to bit a bit chaotic if half the team on a call is gathered in a meeting room or a partner’s office and the other half wfh.
Likely to need a lot of coordination



It takes 10 seconds to send out a Teams/Webex/Zoom link. I’ve been on hybrid calls recently with some WFH and others gathered in an office and it’s been fine.



This was standard practice in offices before the pandemic. You’d have a guy dialling in from upstairs, someone dialling in wfh and the clients were invariably all over the place either in an airport lounge or driving somewhere.

People in the same department usually gathered in the same room but even as a trainee I would sometimes dial in from the office next door just because the associate might not want to put the phone on speaker. If you’re sending instructions for the client/other side to dial in then you can CC your own colleagues too lol.

It will always be better to be in the same office but I ask the same question everytime: is it so much better that it merits commuting 40+ minutes each way, spending £7 on lunch and having to wear proper trousers?


Mr A. Nonymous

nonsense. people have been doing calls with people from different offices of the same firm for ages. what may change is people who are in the office together may not crowd round a spider phone in an internal meeting room so much anymore but might dial in by zoom / Teams from their desk.



‘Up to’ being the operative words here. No doubt trainees can still expect to be bollocked into staying late in the office every day.

But hey, from a well-being perspective, at least you get to see your supervising partner’s speedo bulge down by the pool



What’s the wfh polices at US firms?


New York Big Man

Same as for people at the MC firms except the homes we are working from are much nicer and more expensive.


Cuckland and Ellis, NQ, Esq.,

Just installed a webcam in the new Lambo will be enjoying smashing pe deals while surfing the roads of the Almafi Coast


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