US firm Paul Hastings tells London lawyers work from the office ‘by default’

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From 7 September 🗓️

US outfit Paul Hastings has told its lawyers and staff, including those in London, that “by default”, they should work from the office.

According to a memo sent by firm chairman Seth Zachary and co-managing partners Greg Nitzkowski and Ronan O’Sullivan, the back-to-office approach applies globally and takes effect from 7 September.

The firm’s leaders said that they “understand and respect the flexibility that individual circumstances will require” but “by default, we should work from the office when we are able”.

The memo went on to stress that the move “is as important for helping to nurture and strengthen our sense of culture, teamwork and collaboration as it is for serving clients at the highest levels”.

The approach contrasts with many of the flexible working polices adopted by major City law firms.

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The likes of Clifford Chance, Freshfields and Linklaters have all permitted lawyers and staff to work away from the office for up to 50% of the time, while Slaughter and May has pushed ahead with a 40% WFH policy for lawyers and staff, and a 20% option for trainees.

Other firms to implement similar policies in recent weeks include Dechert, Eversheds Sutherland, Gowling WLG, Irwin Mitchell and Simmons & Simmons.

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