Vinson & Elkins becomes latest firm to adopt mandatory four-day office attendance

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By Emily Hinkley on


Decision due to shifting market

Vinson & Elkins has joined the growing list of law firms calling for lawyers to spend at least four days in the office each week.

In an email sent to staff by the firm’s executive panel and subsequently published by US website Above The Law, it was confirmed that from 11 September, unless they have “an approved fully-remote work arrangement,” lawyers and staff must work in the office four days a week.

The new policy includes their London office and mandates that employees can choose to work from the office “either Monday to Thursday or Tuesday to Friday,” allowing them to decide whether they would prefer to work remotely on Monday or Friday.

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The email, sent on Wednesday, cites shifting markets as the trigger for its decision.

“Over the past two years, as we emerged from the pandemic, we have worked to balance the dual goals of maximizing our time together in the office while also embracing remote flexibility,” it states. “In recent months, the legal and professional services market has shifted with a growing number of firms — as well as clients — moving to a four-day model. We also continue to hear from many of you that some of the connectivity that we highly value is jeopardized when a substantial number of our people are away from the office on any given day.”

A number of other US firms have mandated that staff come into the office four days a week: Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, Weil Gotshal & Manges, Davis Polk & Wardwell and Ropes & Gray.

Meanwhile, UK firm Osborne Clarke recently tied staff bonuses to office attendance.

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Hmmm so it’s only US firms doing this? How funny. Lool I swear Weil had it on their grad recruitment website that they allowed 3 days in office

Notice the trend

Aside from Osborne Clarke (who basically just openly incentivised quiet quitting and tipped us all off that they have sawdust for brains), the trend for this veers heavily towards US Firms.

I think this is interesting because these 4 day mandates are being channelled from the US mothership rather than being made on the spot by the London branches.

Let’s wait and see if more global or U.K. based firms start picking this up or if their management teams are smart enough to realise that flexible working is one of the best tools they have when competing with US firms for talent, and that they’ll never cut it on pay alone.

If such intellect emerges in the City, firms like FBD, HSF and Hogan, who are roughly keeping up with US firms on pay but also offer good flexibility will be the real winners.

Future trainee

If UK and international firms are smart they’ll take heed to what you’ve said to retain and attract talent!


“roughly keeping up” is doing a lot of work here.


If covid didn’t exist, we wouldn’t be worrying about all this remote working stuff but covid causes a shift and it’s psychologically hard to go back to how it was before…but you know that’s life. I earn 180k and get Friday off when it comes to office, there are worse things in the world..

Archibald O'Pomposity

“I earn 180k”

You don’t.

Bit salty mate

Lool okay, as long as it makes you happy I don’t…🤣 although you’re technically right as I didn’t include the bonus

Sorry but

Anyone writing with your appalling writing style (notwithstanding you’re only posting online) hasn’t cut their teeth in a decent law firm – i.e. one paying £180k.

Power to intellect

There’s some dumb icks strolling around fr


Your comment just reeks of bitterness and/or jealously honestly.

How someone types while they’re relaxing and replying to comments on a message board means they can’t possibly work at a good law firm? What on earth are you on about haha.

You might want to google “code switching”!

Inferiority Complex

Just desperate to shoehorn our earnings into a post for strangers on the internet, were we? Bless x

Corporate drone (formerly happy)

“We also continue to hear from many of you that some of the connectivity that we highly value is jeopardized when a substantial number of our people are away from the office on any given day.”

As if… guarantee that the majority prefers flexibility and improved mental health over “connectivity”. Boomer mamagement mentality is embarrassing. Full WFH worked fine during Covid when it suited huh…

Archibald O'Pomposity

“Boomer mamagement mentality is embarrassing. Full WFH worked fine during Covid when it suited huh…”

Perhaps it did, but that’s bad reasoning nevertheless. The point being made by companies like this is that full WFH did NOT work for them and did not suit them. They imposed it under duress from the government.


Sensible and tactile approach. Firms are looking at cutting away the fat right now. If you’re going to do so, you may as well cut the WFH fat. When the market picks up I’d certainly want to be the firm with colleagues predominantly working together in an office (subject to an appropriate 1 wfh day/week policy and a degree of flexibility around office arrival/departure times so long as the hours get billed), rather than a disjointed, incohesive bunch based all over the place.

Archibald O'Pomposity

First, you misused the word “tactile”. I don’t know what word comes close to what you meant, although I would guess “well-judged or even “shrewd””. Secondly, the premises of your argument don’t fully support the conclusion (which is “if you’re going to cut fat from your firm, you may as well cut the WFH fat”). In fact your premises lend solid support to WFH, albeit only in a configuration that would personally work for you. You leave the finer details wide open for debate, despite your use of the word “predominantly” – but the finer details matter. Hence the weak support of your premises for your conclusion.

It would be better if you explain your position more clearly.


I found this comment wanting.

Taking a dump right now


Toilet CPD consultant

That’s cute.

Let me help you with that in a few easy steps so that you make it to the toilet next time:

1. Plan ahead. Work out where the nearest bathroom is.

2. Check that the symbol on the door aligns with your choice of gender(s) today.

3. Enter toilet.

4. Leave toilet as you realise that your foot is stuck in the u-bend.

5. Sit on toilet.

6. Start to poo.

7. Realise that you haven’t pulled your trousers down.

8. Stand up.

9. Remove trousers.

10. Remove pants/ nappy/ toilet training aid/ your wife’s knickers.

11. Sit down again.

12. Do business.

13. When the deal is done, congratulate yourself on another hard day’s work.

15. Do your poo.

16. Wipe.

17. Reverse stages 9 and 10.

18. Flush.

19. Ask your boss for an “I’m a big boy/ girl/ person” sticker.

20. Have a big smile on your face for the rest of the day.

Future trainee

I kind of agree with this! As the market is down/quiet, US firms are cutting out the people who are coasting and not fully committed. So when the market picks back up, firms will have lawyers who are connected, have built rapport and consistent with their commitment to being in the office and doing adhoc work and then will be able to adjust steeply to the development in the market and therefore client needs.


“We also continue to hear from many of you that some of the connectivity that we highly value is jeopardized when a substantial number of our people are away from the office on any given day.”
Listen boomers, just because you hate your family and want to spend as much time away from them as possible, doesn’t mean the rest of us think the same

Reply to salty person because I earn 180k

Firstly, this is ‘Legal Cheek,’ a platform with a more relaxed tone. Secondly, if we’re discussing grammar, there should be a comma after ‘i.e.,’. The notion that my professional writing as a lawyer at a prestigious US law firm would resemble this is rather amusing.

But yeah, go off. I don’t know you, nor do I care what you think I earn. Have a good day. 😊

Unashamed Shit Stirrer (not on £180K but not far off!)

And yet you care so little that you replied again…?

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