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Freshfields lawyers to work from office at least three days a week in agile policy tweak

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Previously 50%

Freshfields has announced a change to its agile working policy for staff in its London and Manchester offices.

The Magic Circle firm, which since March 2021 has allowed its employees to work from home 50% of the time, will now expect its partners, associates and trainees to go into the office at least three days a week according to new internal policy guidelines.

This is, however, an interim approach that may change over time and the application of the new guidelines will vary by team to reflect the range of work that is conducted.

The Magic Circle firm moved from its office on Fleet Street into its current London gaff at 100 Bishopsgate last year. We took a look around, and specifically the firm’s fancy ‘living wall’, earlier this year (see TikTok below).

@legalcheek There is a wall in the new London headquarters of Freshfields, a Magic Circle law firm, that is covered in real live moss! #law #lawfirm #lawyersoftiktok #alive ♬ Nature Love – Nature Sounds

The future of agile working post-pandemic has varied from firm to firm. Last year, RPC told lawyers and staff they could work from home permanently, whilst in April Stephenson Harwood announced it will reduce the salaries of staff who want to work from home permanently by 20% with a policy that staff must work from the office three days a week.

This month US outfit Shearman & Sterling is giving all its London staff the option to work remotely following feedback from an internal survey of its staff.

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18 Comments

Please do not post this comment

CMS increased trainee wages and LPC grant, check their website

(13)(16)

Big boy

Yeah to a £100k wasnt it? Unless they’ve increased again?

(1)(1)

OP

Yes NQ was raised to 100k earlier. My post was referring to trainee wages (£50,000 and £55,000) with an increase in grants to £10,000 in London

(0)(0)

Anon

Bit of a non-story, firmwide policies are utterly meaningless, it’s what your bosses (i.e. departmental partners) do / require that impacts you day-to-day.

(71)(3)

Graham

Always thought that the “50%” didn’t really work with a 5 day week. I’ve been rounding down to 2 rather than up to 3 – will see how this lands once the weather starts getting worse and leaving your house to get into the office is cold and wet, rather than a chance to go out for a nice lunch in the city.

(49)(0)

Anon Ymouse

Will land like a lead balloon, I imagine.

(34)(1)

Anon

Highly suspect not a lot will chance. Even with the 50% policy before there were teams at the firm who were never in the office. Conversely there are teams who do the usual London Mon-Thu. As mentioned, this’ll be very supervisor/partner dependent

(19)(0)

Anon2

They are tracking individual attendance now w meetings scheduled if you don’t meet the policy.

(4)(0)

Anonymousse

I would take a pay cut in the low five figures to avoid being micromanaged like this, so when US firms are paying five figures *more* and in many cases being flexible with WFH, this really doesn’t seem like a good play from FBD.

(17)(0)

Rumours

Will ES or DLA rise (any rumours from trainees?)

(2)(15)

Anon

Well – irrelevant to this article, these shops are nowhere near Freshfields’ league. Apples and oranges.

(8)(8)

lol

And yet MC and US associates are joining there…funny that

(4)(1)

Mr M

I start my TC next year and am dreading the thought of only working 2-3 days in the office – I absolutely despise WFH/Zoom Calls from my bedroom – anyone already working know whether you can do 4 or 5 days in the office?

P.S. yes I obviously will discuss it with HR before starting

(4)(5)

Who dat

Yes.

(0)(0)

Managing Trainee

Are you actually asking whether you will be permitted to come into the office 5 days a week?

(1)(0)

Vac schemer

Are BCLP or Ashurst increasing NQ pay?

(5)(11)

2PQE

Don’t worry about it.

(12)(0)

Zineb

Not just the lawyers, the business services staff too. And we’ve not got any pay increase following the decades high inflation over the last year #MHClown

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.

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