Associates at Clifford Chance are being given days off in lieu as compensation for working into the early hours on deals.
The initiative has been implemented by the firm’s banking practice and is not extended to associates across the rest of the firm.
At a time when associates’ pay and conditions have been hitting the headlines, the magic circle firm will hope the move will go some way to improving the work-life balance of its lawyers.
It is not yet known if Clifford Chance’s other practice areas are looking to adopt a similar system, but no doubt associates outside the banking group will want to be given the same rights.
Associates’ careers have been pushed to the front of law firm agendas in recent months, with a series of stories detailing associate departures and battles over pay.
As first reported by The Lawyer (17 October), Allen & Overy gave its associates inflation-busting pay hikes. The firm has also made published proposals to shake up associate career progression.
Meanwhile, Herbert Smith suffered an exodus of litigation assistants amid accusations that career progression was unclear.