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City firm DJ Freeman is offering its staff a new confidential counselling service, as a means of combating stress.
The service is being run by Counselling in Companies, an external independent organisation. It offers staff and their spouses a telephone advice service and up to five free counselling sessions. The service is confidential and details will not be passed on to the firm.
Jonathan Lewis, chief executive at DJ Freeman, said the introduction of the scheme was a recognition that lawyers are exposed to stress.
"Counselling is a measure to deal with it at an early stage," he said. "It is a programme which will benefit our staff. It will also help the firm and our clients by maintaining the highest quality of service."
The Law Society has welcomed the initiative as a good idea. The Society itself runs an assistance scheme through its professional ethics department, which can put solicitors in touch with advisers. It also has a support group which operates a network for solicitors with drug and alcohol dependencies.
A society spokesman said DJ Freeman was making a brave move, as most firms did not like to admit that solicitors suffered from stress.