Linklaters says: take a BlackBerry break

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Readers' comments (21)

  • Sceptical

    For me, real relaxation is when you get to think about something completely different for a while. Leaving your Blackberry behind might be a worthwhile gesture, but ultimately the firm still expects its associates to be contact-able to answer questions about work when they are away. That is the real problem - not having a Blackberry might simply make that contact a little less convenient.

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  • clueless

    Since when? I work at Linklaters and have never heard of this new policy!

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  • Strategic thinking

    This is good strategic thinking on behalf of Linklaters. WIth tough times ahead, the firm has obviously considered the fact that associate pay freezes are likely. Accordingly then, they are seeking to do things that will make associates value their jobs but don't cost the firm money. Expect others to follow.

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  • clueless

    I hadn't heard about it either but spoke to one of the partners and they said it came in about a month ago.
    Not that it's going to make any difference as you still have to have your mobile phone on!

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  • Probably costs-saving...

    I think it's more to do with the costs associated with everyone checking their personal e-mails, Facebook account and surfing the web whilst abroad - I'm sure that's not cheap to fund in these 'credit-crunching' times!

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  • Put in their place

    It's very clever. Linklaters' way of saying "Memento mori" to the triumphal associates. In a quieter market, they should be made to realise that they are dispensable. (And since associates desperately look at their Blackberries every 2 minutes to gauge how important they are, maybe it isn't such a bad thing).

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  • Use a Sole Practitioner instead

    Clients use nice big law firms because they can get a continuous level of service regardless of who is on holiday. If the law firm cant let associates have real holidays, the clients may as well save the cost of employing a mega-firm and just use use a sole practitioner who takes his communications everywhere anyway

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  • Cheaper insurance?

    A number of banks and investment managers get cheaper PI insurance by requiring staff to stay out of touch with the office for an uninterrupted 14 day period.

    There has recently been discussion about whether Blackberry usage breaks this rule - and the advice was 'yes it does' (you cannot trade from it but you can instruct on trades etc). I wonder if this is all a cost saving measure?

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  • Got to be cost-savings

    930 lawyers at Silk Street and a good proportion would normally be away in relatively exotic locations with the Blackberry for some portion of the summer - do the maths.

    Being mid-2 live deals two summers ago whilst sailing cost my firm over £500! If you'd added keeping up-to-speed with the test matches, the bill would have been even worse. Far more cost-effective to delegate the work to those back at base who aren't at full capacity.

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  • Roaming charges

    Perhaps Linklaters has been looking at its mobile bills and has seen how much they spend on roaming charges which may or may not be for personal use! The credit crunch really is affecting everyone.

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  • Associates should be expendable

    Frankly I'd be a little concerned if I were a client and discovered that associates were considered so central to the success of my transaction that they couldn't be allowed out of contact for a couple of weeks.

    Partners? Perhaps, but associates are supposed to be lackies, not lynchpins.

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  • Blackberries on holiday

    A holiday without your Blackberry ? Never ! I look forward to diving into the hotel pool with my Blackberry strapped to my Speedo's in its waterproof case.

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  • Goes against the business model...

    ... of being able to charge associates when they are on holiday!

    This means that when the poor things come back to work, they will have to add a 15th hour to their day to make up for the shortfall!

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  • Redundancies may well be next

    Linklaters are doing what is right in the circumstances, associates are after all junior players in deals and easily replaceable in the current climate.

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  • blackberry

    The need to look at e-mails outside working hours should be the exception and not the rule.

    Human beings first, family first: let's get our priority right. It's all good talking about a well-balanced life and than we need to debate whether we should have BlackBerries on holiday!

    Working hours 9 to 7 and that's it! The rest can wait to the following morning!

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  • Blackberries on holiday....

    Hello. Me again. I have to say that in this day and age, Blackberries are a must have for the providers of legal services. Stay ahead of the game!

    As I said yesterday, I will be taking my Blackberry everywhere with me whilst on holiday in sunny southern Europe. If you need me, you will find me sitting under water in the deep end of the swimming pool happily answering clients' emailed enquires. Mark my words.

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  • Blackberrys deserve a break too (not really)

    Well done Links on this PR stunt. But it really is not more than a stunt... CC ASSOCIATE

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  • What's the big deal?

    Why is everyone being so precious about this? Another example of Generation Y?

    It's really not a big deal taking a Blackberry with you on holidays. You can check it, say, twice a day just to see if there is anything urgent from a client or colleague that hasn't been picked up in your absence and you can ask someone to deal with it for you or choose to deal with it yourself.

    There is a big distinction between simply checking your messages and keeping on top of things and being expected to work throughout your holidays.

    In my experience, associates are definitely not being asked to work via Blackberry while on holiday (nor are they even required to check their e-mails) but I admire those that are prepared to take responsibility for their internal and external client relationships rather than the precious associates who feel that they simply can't be put under that type of pressure, but will doubtless be checking their Facebook and personal e-mails avidly every day without fail.

    In the current climate, you need to grow up, take responsibility and take your job seriously.

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  • Back to Basics

    If any of Linklaters' clients are getting fed up with having a part-time lawyer, or being passed round the department every other week because "their" solicitor has cleared off on holiday and left his BB at home, they can call me on my Blackberry 24/7/365. WE never close.

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  • PR time for Linklaters competitors.

    Mark Boardman is definitely going the right way. Attention all marketing departments of law firms: Feel free to advertise that your lawyers are contactable when necessary unlike Linklaters who apparently don't care about their clients.

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  • Not very Christian...

    Is Mark Boardman "coveting" his neighbour's clients? For shame. We all moan and whine about associate work-life balance, having a life outside of the job, but as soon as any push to at least institutionalise a policy comes around, the knives come out.

    In reality, I doubt that associates who are any good will really ignore their BB, but putting the policy in place at least allows for the idea of not being a slave to it to be "formally" acceptable, and may reward active client/transaction management rather than merely expect it 24/7.

    Some of these things are about setting a minimum expectation that can be exceeded by those who are minded to do so.

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