Gowling ups office attendance to 60%

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By Thomas Connelly on


Previously 50%

Gowling WLG has become the latest law firm to adjust its office attendance policy, increasing the minimum requirement from 50% to 60%.

The “small but important change” comes nearly three years after the firm trialed a variety of flexible working initiatives as part of scheme dubbed Agile+. Options included allowing lawyers to adjust their start and finish times, compress their working weeks, and allocate up to 50% of their time to work from home.

Gowling has now confirmed that “legal teams” will be required to spend at least 60% of their time in the office, with firm chair Andy Stylianou citing benefits for both the business and the career development of its lawyers. The change will take effect in May.

Stylianou said: “As a firm we’ve offered agile working for several years now, including before the pandemic. We always keep our agile approach under review to ensure we are delivering the very best for our clients and fostering a strong team culture, alongside flexibility for our people.”

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“We know from our experience over the last year or so that more regular time in the office supports collaboration, helps our people build their skills and experience by working side-by-side with colleagues and ensures that our culture continues to thrive,” Stylianou said.

He continued: “So from May 2024 we will be making an adjustment and asking that our legal teams spend at least 60 per cent of their time in the office. We see this as a small but important change that will benefit both the business and our people as they build their skills and careers.”

Several firms have revised their remote working policies in the past 12 months, with US trio Ropes & Gray, Sidley and Weil all mandating at least four days in the office. Gateley, meanwhile, adjusted its policy, setting it between three and four days for lawyers, depending on their level of experience.

Elsewhere, Legal Cheek recently reported that Magic Circle firms Slaughter and May and Clifford Chance are monitoring the office attendance of their lawyers. Slaughters currently mandates three days a week either in the office, with a client, or in court, with trainees and new joiners expected to be present more frequently, while CC expects staff to spend at least 50% of their time in the office over a two week period.


GWLG minion

What a load of waffle.

The executive team dropped this on a Friday to all employees without any consultation with employees whatsoever.

They provided no clear reason to mandate the extra days other than their favourite corporate jargon nonsense. They provide no clear incentive to come into the office.

Faith in management is at an all time low.

Go in-house then

Wah wah wah


I can understand US firms mandating office attendance, it’s part of the Faustian pact. But for mid level firms like Gowling, that’s a dangerous move. Flexibility and being treated like an adult are important to staff at these mid tier firms. Ok you’re not earning the most, but you can choose to WFH two or three times a week to avoid the commute and spend more time with family.

Plenty of Gowling’s rivals are much more flexible than this. This would immediately put me off a lateral. Expect staff to vote with their feet


60 today, 70 tomorrow. We all know where this is headed


It should be 100%. Those at Gowling should be grateful for such a relaxed latitude to allow them to have a few days to doss and pretend to work.


Alan, how and why do you have so much time to peruse this student forum on a daily basis and offer your advice? One might begin to think you’re a bit of a dosser yourself.


Good for them. No room for slackers in this profession. Free riders/dossers will be found out soon.


I would be most interested to know what everyone’s firm policies are. How many days and is it enforced?

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