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Agile working, described by many as the modern way firms empower employees with maximum flexibility and minimum restraint, has seen wide-scale adoption across several industries. Law firms, however, are often seen to be lagging behind. Experts suggest that successful law firms of the future will need to effectively promote agile working practices in order to increase productivity among employees and to attract the best talent moving forward.
George Bisnought, founder and managing director at Excello Law, says that agile working will become ‘increasingly important across the legal profession as more and more lawyers demand greater flexibility, and to be freed from many of the prescriptive working styles and a notorious long-hours culture so often seen in more traditional practice’.
Alex McPherson, partner and co-founder at Ignition Law, agrees with Bisnought and thinks current agile practices adopted by law firms are simply not good enough: ‘Too many law firms offer agile working that means no more than letting staff work from home one day a week.’ This fails to allow them to realise the full benefits of successful adoption such as ‘increased productivity, better results and an increase in loyalty’ experienced by employers from their employees.
The focus from agile working is on flexibility and is described by Bisnought as allowing ‘lawyers complete freedom and choice to work when, where and how they wish’. This involves getting rid of timesheets and targets on billable hours and rather focuses on the ‘delivery of high levels of customer service, ensuring direct access to senior lawyers and providing better value for money and outcomes.’ McPherson agrees and thinks agile allows maximum flexibility with minimum constraints: ‘By allowing workers to cho
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