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Slaughter and May to allow trainees to work remotely one day a week

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New policy enables ‘majority’ of staff to work away from the office up to 40% of the time

Slaughter and May’s London office

Slaughter and May is the latest law firm to introduce a new remote working policy for lawyers and staff, including the option for trainees to work from home up to one day a week.

The magic circle outfit today confirmed the “majority” of those based in London and Brussels will work from the office at least 60% of the time, with up to 40% spent working remotely. Those wishing to spend more than 60% in the office are free to do so, the firm said in a statement.

Slaughters has also laid out specific requirements for rookies and new recruits — the first major firm to do so. They will be expected to be in the office at least 80% of the time, with up to 20% working remotely (or up to one day a week).

Commenting on the new, more flexible approach, Slaughters’ executive partner, Paul Stacey, said:

“After listening carefully to views from across the firm and from our clients, we are confident that this approach properly balances the interests of our people and delivery of the highest levels of client service.”

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The days on which individuals come into the office or work remotely are flexible, and can vary from week to week, the firm confirmed. Subject to government lockdown rules, the new policy comes into effect from 6 September 2021.

Today’s news means Slaughters has introduced a slightly higher office attendance requirement than those favoured by some of its magic circle rivals.

Clifford Chance, Freshfields and Linklaters all recently gave the green light for their lawyers and staff to work outside the office for up to 50% of the time. Allen & Overy, meanwhile, anticipates staff will work remotely for around 40% of the working week once lockdown measures end.

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46 Comments

Will

Only allowed 1 day a week? When will slaughter and may pull itself into the 21st century

(76)(22)

Anon

Trainees should want to be in the office a lot tbh

(28)(3)

Honest Jack

Well, it’s better than nothing I guess.

Coincidentally, those are the same words that every Slaughter and May trainee said when they got their TC offers from S&M after being rejected by every US firm.

(31)(48)

🚨 🚨 🚨

FRESHER DETECTED

(81)(3)

lmaobantah

😀 😀 😀

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Legal Cheek stop allowing these tedious freshers comments to be posted, it’s getting monotonous now. Latham, W&C are probably the only decent FULL service US firms. The others are specialised in a few areas or satellite offices for their US headquarters. Stop thinking every US firm is better than UK ones and do your research.

A legal recruiter will be more interested in a Slaughter NQ than one from Paul Hastings; A Slaughter NQ will work alongside better ranked lawyers than those at Gibson Dunn, a Slaughter NQ is going to have trained on widely known deals more than one from Goodwin, a Slaughter NQ will have a recognised name on its CV than one from Morgan Lewis. I can go on and on.

You will begin to learn all this once you actually get into the industry and start seeing the career trajectories of your peers at other firms…for now focus on getting a vac scheme mate.

(63)(59)

Tulisa

calm down bro

(29)(6)

Answer the question

Where do you work Karen? No bs about maintaining anonymity please.

(5)(4)

Sick of LC children just go back to your textbooks already

Where do you work, lad? The Bristol SU shop is not an acceptable answer.

(0)(1)

Anon

Calm down, lad. I’m pretty sure Jack was making a joke and it’s not like he doesn’t have a point.

You talk as if being full-service is a good thing. Do you really think legal recruiters are falling over themselves to woo Slaughter & May juniors who qualified into pensions? Most US firms are so PE-focused that you’ll definitely sit in and probably qualify into something like PE, funds or finance (all of which make you way more employable than 90% of the areas that you’ll end up doing at a full-service firm.) Also, it’s pretty funny that you’re talking about recruiters since it implies that MC NQs go to US firms eventually anyway. Not sure how that logic works.

And if you’re just a Slaughters grad rec team member (which it seems like since you’re unironically making the “prestige” argument), I’m very sorry for interfering. I know you’re just trying to do your job.

(40)(5)

fresher trainee

Could be worse, could end up at some obscure kaka US firm like “Bracewell” or “Proskaur” loooooooooooooooool

(8)(2)

Anonymind

Not sure about Bracewell, but Proskauer does pretty good in mid-market PE and funds.

A NQ-4PQE from Proskauer in those areas could easily move to somewhere like Kirkland, Weil, STB… what are you on about?

Dear Anon

I recognise that you’re probably 40 years old, but when someone puts ‘fresher trainee’ as the title of their comment, it clearly delineates something that is commonly referred to as a ‘joke’.

Anonymagic

You realise US law firms in London do US law deals too, right? Take Skadden for example, it is top rated for both English and US law M&A work. I don’t get the comparison. Again, a Paul Hastings NQ would be more employable compared to a Slaughters NQ if we’re taking lev fin. I don’t understand your blanket comparison, seem put together by a student rather than a professional.

Plus why is full-service so important? First of all, many US firms are (especially if you disregard extremely niche departments which some colossal – and less profitable – UK shops have).

I really don’t get your point…

(2)(5)

Sick of LC children just go back to your textbooks already

Dude, you’re the one asking dumb questions about salary and prestige in every thread. Who are you to say that a post was “put together by a student”? What unique insight can you possibly possess as someone who is still at university?

Slaughters doesn’t do the kind of Leveraged Finance work that Paul Hastings do and Leveraged Finance is an awful seat in general (long hours, toxic clients, few exit opportunities). I don’t understand why Legal Cheek obsesses over these seats.

(2)(0)

A&O the Banking King

Not sure why trainees would want to work more than one day a week from home tbh. In fact surprised most firms are even allowing their trainees to wfh – should be v much dependent on what your supervisor is up to.

(25)(13)

No one cares about banking, lad. FBD >

Agreed. Slaughters have taken the correct approach here.

(12)(6)

Superdupervisor

God, I’ll tell you what I am up to. Staying in Oxfordshire until at least October.

(0)(0)

Josh

Not sure why my comment got removed… Slaughters is suffering a massive shortage of associates and it’s down to decision making like this. The partners are stuck in the 18th century …

(16)(5)

Anonymystery

Suffering associate shortage? Since when and by what standards? Seems a pretty groundless comment to make tbh (not to be offensive or anything).

(2)(0)

Anonymous

This cannot be true. I applied to an S&M advertised vacancy in December and my application is still “awaiting review”.

(2)(0)

topkek

Lmao that actually means you got rejected gimpboi

(3)(0)

History BA

18th century? Maybe 19th, but really more like 20th. The world was a very different place in the 18th century.

(2)(4)

Henry

Would you mind providing a source for this? From what I understood they never cared about attrition for mid-level associates and above, and the ones who are really gunning for partnership are bound to stick around anyway.

(0)(0)

Josh

Again – not sure what Legal Cheek are hiding here by removing my comments twice. These partners are stuck in the 18th century and need to realise that the prestige argument doesn’t pay the bills for their associates and the working from home measures really aren’t helping with retention …

(7)(2)

is that all?

Simmons is allowing trainees and new joiners to WFH 2 days per week – everyone else can WFH 3 days per week.

(2)(0)

Apples to Oranges

Slaughters and Simmons are world apart. One is a respected behemoth in the City, the other is Simmons.

(10)(3)

Anonymultiple

Seriously, these comments need to stop. They just make this website look even worse. Simmons might not be Slaughters in terms of PEP or profitability, but it is a very well recognised major international law firm. In some sectors, it is arguably even a “top-tier” shop.

(7)(13)

Anonymous

To be fair, I think the first guy talking about Simmons was joking. I don’t think anyone would earnestly refer to Simmons and Slaughters in the same breath.

99% of people wouldn’t choose to work at Simmons even if they cut the working week to 4 days and let people WFH for all of them. It’s a firm for SC rejects. I mean, it has an office in Bristol for god’s sake.

(16)(1)

Thank you.

Exactly. While I agree this whole movement of calling every firm complete trash is slightly annoying, the counter movement of calling every firm ‘good in its own right’ is equally annoying. Simmons is no where near Slaughters – I recognise that may come as a shock to many Leicester and Liverpool graduates, but it is the harsh reality.

@Thank you.

Lmao that’s funny, when they actually pay the same NQ whack as Slaughters. LC comments section are so jammed with fresher pinheads its unbelievable.

Anon

Simmons trainee spotted. Aside from the fact that the pay is not the same, good luck getting a job anywhere else with Simmons on your CV. Enjoy being mediocre and poor.

Realist (original)

I went to law school with a guy who had first class degree in law from a top Uni and turned down a tc offer from Slaughter and May to train at Simmons. Some of the comments on here will let you know why some smart people take less money not to work with a certain type of person.

???

Anyone know what CMS is doing in regards to WFH?

(0)(0)

Pete

There is a distinction between casual/ad-hoc WFH and ‘permanent WFH’.

All fee-earners will be able to casually WFH on an ad-hoc basis up to 2 days per week, subject to doing so not impacting client service or the fee earner’s ability to fulfil their role.

Permanent WFH (i.e. the norm will be that you will not have to attend any office and you will carry out work remotely by default) will be available to all. However, those who do so will revert to the lowest salary available for the jurisdiction in which they will permanently work from. For example, if you permanently work from home in the United Kingdom, you will revert to the firm’s Glasgow office salary. In practice, this will mean that taking permanent work from home will not be appealing to most.

(1)(0)

Anon

Not sure about WFH specifically but I know that what they’re doing generally is continuing to be a third-rate irrelevant firm.

(1)(8)

Rick

What? You must be a third rate human. CMS are a bit of a jack of all trades, but they are a generally well respected and full service law firm. What is your practice area? CMS might be of irrelevance to you and your line of work, but to call them irrelevant and third-rate more generally is a bit much. Get a grip.

(2)(0)

Anon

Jack of all trades? Let me put it like this. My mate did “General Studies” at A-Level. He’s a retail assistant now. He is CMS – not that skilled in any particular area and not in a well-respected profession. The only people who respect CMS and consider it relevant are desperate graduates who probably have 2:1s from Russell Group unis.

CMS is a meme firm. All you need to do is look at where it has offices: Sheffield, Reading, Bristol. Even its London NQs are barely on £70k. That’s criminal.

(3)(10)

Pathetic

This just isn’t true at all. A quick peruse on LinkedIn will find that most future/current trainees at CMS have strong candidate profiles, with many from top-tier RG uni’s. NQ pay is not 70k, and according to others it is now over £80k. You’re a pathetic troll…

LOLLLLL

LinkedIn shows that CMS trainees studied at places like Leeds and Manchester. The only people who went to elite unis and end up at CMS got low 2:1s/an irrelevant degree so they settled for what they could get.

CMS is impressive to other Leeds graduates but everyone else barely considers it a city firm.

Old Guy

@Anon and LOLLLL

Very sad couple of squares. Exams over and now spamming legal cheek.

Rick

Judging by your response you do not have a line of work. Judging by your comments you are also completely out of touch with the profession.

anon

Why does everyone on LC comments spend their entire time getting worked up about which firms are better than others. Get a life it really does not matter there’s a whole world out there

(8)(0)

A

And that one day can be Saturday or Sunday. As long as they get their 12 hours in anyway.

Hour gimps.

(1)(0)

New role

Anyone know what RPC are doing? I’m 3 PQE at a Top 10 firm with an offer from their PFR team not sure what to do… my current firm is not keen on wfh but I want to move to Norfolk..

(0)(0)

Don't settle for RPC

There’s probably much better options than RPC if you’re at a top 10 firm. Although to be fair, I’m not sure what metric you’re using to determine firm rankings. If you’re looking at The Lawyer, they’ve even got complete meme firms like Eversheds and CMS in the top 10 LOL.

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.

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