Linklaters backs flexible working

Write to: The Editor, The Lawyer, 50 Poland Street, London W1V 4AX, fax 0171 970 4640, e-mail lawyer.edit@chiron.co.uk, DX44700 Soho Square.

Your article and editorial on flexible working in The Lawyer (28 February) are entirely wrong and very damaging to a policy which is important both to this firm and to the profession as a whole.

Linklaters has most definitely not abandoned its pioneering flexible working policy for partners. Indeed, far from being “in tatters” it is thriving.

Since the policy was introduced in May 1997, seven partners have applied for and been granted flexible working – not including Heather Savage because she was not a partner at the firm – and four are currently on such an arrangement.

All have been working for clients in the normal way and have worked in a variety of practice areas including heavy corporate transactional work. Six per cent of our London lawyers are on flexible working (over half of them on client work including heavy transactional work).

In the absence of a flexible working policy, some of these partners and lawyers would not have continued with us for as long as they have or in the profession.

Many other firms – both in the UK and abroad – have contacted Linklaters to learn more about our scheme because they have indicated they would like to replicate it.

This month, Linklaters will implement policies for staff which provide further help for employees with families.

These include more generous paternity and maternity leave than is required by statute. The firm will also make it clear that staff on flexible working are eligible to continue on the policy when they are elected partners.

We look forward to you correcting the inaccuracies which you have published and, in the interests of the profession, to do what you can to remedy the damage which you have done to flexible working.

Tony Angel, managing partner, Linklaters