The answer to these questions is to
leave the clock outside. Although we
record time, we have no billing or
time targets. This means our lawyers
are not forced to compete with each
other to find the jobs or clients that
bill the most hours. Equally, we are
not forced to live under the stress
of finding someone to bill for a set
number of hours per day. This way,
people have everything to gain from
We don't necessarily bill our clients
by the hour either - we're flexible
on that too, which allows us to bill
for the value we bring if it is more
appropriate. Some ideas take a matter
of seconds but are capable of saving
companies millions of pounds a year.
The value of the work we do is not
always measurable in minutes.
This is not done for an easier life,
it's done to achieve better results.
We believe our system provides
greater emphasis on quality, greater
efficiency and engenders a firm-wide
ethos of sharing expertise. It means
people have time to offer advice,
which for a trainee is exceptionally
good news. The 'open-door' policy is
more than just management-speak
here, it genuinely exists. You will find
that even senior people are happy to
We believe in people being able to
spend time giving back too.
"If the hour is what
drives you, you create
the wrong incentives."
There are regular and ad hoc
volunteering and pro bono initiatives
you can weave into your day.
While talking about clocks, it's worth
mentioning that, as at all major law
firms, now and then there are periods
of intense effort - that's the nature
of the job. Most trainees experience
this at least once in their first year:
long hours, long nights, maybe even
a long weekend. The positive side is
that we have no 'face-time' culture.
If you've no work to do at the end of
the day, you go home. We don't keep
people hanging around twiddling