If Clifford Chance can do it other employers have no excuse


A top City law firm has announced it is to move to more of an ‘agile working’ philosophy – in a move seen my many as yet further acceptance of the acceptance of work-life balance.

The move, by Clifford Chance, announced by trade journal, The Lawyer, follows the firm’s news that it will lease nearly half of its 1 million square-feet office to Deutsche Bank without any job accompanying job cuts.

According to The Lawyer, managing partner David Bickerton said: “I welcome it when our people want to work flexibly. At the end of the day, what clients care about is whether they are getting the right service, regardless of where someone sits. So long as our teams can operate effectively, work is something you do rather than a place you go.”

The news is regarded as significant, because if a major law firm can set this lead, other organisations who may not have considered agile working possible, should be able to follow suit.

Clifford Chance’s announcement may also be to improve its own gender diversity targets, which have worsened in recent years.

Its UK partnership was 16% female in 2013/14, but the previous year, it was 16.3%. In 2009 it said it wanted to have 30% female partners.