Law firm to let staff set working hours

Law firm Simmons & Simmons is planning to tear up traditional employment contracts for its lawyers and replace them with a new way of working.

Senior partner Janet Gaymer said the company has problems retaining lawyers with three and four years’ post-qualification experience, and felt its current contracts were not fit for purpose.

In pilot schemes starting this summer, lawyers will now agree working hours with their managers, depending on their specific personal circumstances.

“Managers then know what they are dealing with in a proactive way,” she said. “The obvious advantage is retaining our best and brightest lawyers.”

Gaymer said the scheme wasn’t gender specific, and was quick to reject the idea that staff who opted for flexible hours would not progress at the company.

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