Hogan Lovells to review stress management in wake of partner's suicide

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  • I'd just like to offer sympathy too to David's family, and to colleagues and friends.

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  • Identifying and treating stress symptoms is like snipping heads off weeds. Root problems need identifying and replacing. Stress looks the same but roots (routes) are individual. Understanding and addressing personal sources, personal effects and current coping (all we do to cope that keeps it all going) is what matters, since all serve to maintain the problem, one's own personal signature on the stress experience.

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  • Legal Realist. Blackberries can be turned off or left at home.

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  • The whole profession should consider their approach to work in light of this and other deaths linked to stress.

    Every firm should be looking into the well being of their staff (if they're not, you have to wonder what their Human Resources team are doing). However responsibility is not simply limited to the corporate structures, every employee should be considering whether they are correctly positioned to meet the demands of the role and whether their workload could be handled in a manner that is better for their well being.

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  • I feel very sorry for the young Associates who have to work sometimes round the clock. The Firm needs to look at the hours, they expect these Junior lawyers to work in the name of profit. HL wake up, you do not want another death on your hands.
    Pam P.

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  • Q: How can you tell when someone is stressed to breaking point, on medication to support the most basic areas of life and in need of proactive tools to transform the situation (s)?

    A: With great difficulty.

    Conclusion - Life isn't going to get easier in terms of stress with the passing of time, it is going to get tougher so people need more than just support. They need to be able to understand how it happens and how to manage their response to situations as well as increasing resilience.

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  • IT tools are boosting productivity (hosted desktop, hosted software / files etc), and it is great that one can now work from anywhere, anytime from any device, but people need to manage their energy levels, companies cannot be held responsible for this. they provide us with empowering tech to do our work better, but they do not make us work all hours god gave us, that is our choice.

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  • To Anon | 14-Sep-2013 0:50 am - "Blackberries can be turned off or left at home.". That's easily said but not a great deal of help if you then get an almightly b*****king for not answering said Blackberry. The attitude referred to by Legal Realist above is the problem here. I once had strip torn off me by a partner for not responding to an (unexpected) email sent to me on Sunday night by 7 the next morning. Equally the clients of that firm expected to be able to get hold of me late at night and would complain to the partners if they couldn't so, of course, the pressure gets passed down the line. Don't know where the real blame is- with the partners who refuse to try and temper expectations, for example I was not allowed to ever set my out of office, for any reason, or the clients (and that usually means in house lawyers) who all demand immediate access/turn around even when there is no real urgency. Until there is a change of attitude as a profession we will continue to lose good lawyers to suicide and burn out.

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  • Why should law firms provide stress training?

    I had a stressful job once. You know what: I left and got a less stressful one that paid less. You don't have to be a lawyer at a prestigious City law firm, you know.

    If someone is willing to pay you the best part of a million pounds a year, putting you in the top 0.1% of earners in the world, they may want something in return for that.

    I'm always amazed that more lawyers don't use their money to start their own ventures or pursue other business or entrepreneurial endeavours.

    Master of your own destiny - and less stressful when you're the boss.

    The problem is that they are risk-averse and want the guaranteed high salary and social prestige - that comes at a price.

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  • I cut my teeth in a red blooded macho law firm. I was part of that culture I am ashamed to say and I did my share of passing on the pressure. I would delight in having to take that client call at antisocial hours, without realising that people around me were not admiring, rather than thinking I was a dick. I have since left for a better quality of life (to the utter bafflement of my former colleagues). I don’t earn much less (it is not inevitable that you will), but I spend lots of time with my family, don’t find myself at airports every other day, my kids recognise me and I have learnt something about client psychology. If I turn my mobile phone off for the weekend, clients (who have my home phone number) very occasionally will ring that number but will only do so if it is a genuine emergency because they recognise the intrusion (which does not apply to a mobile). Otherwise they will wait and none of them think any the less of me for it. On the contrary, I think that a client’s respect for a lawyer is inversely proportional to one’s confidence in not jumping simply because they say jump – it is human nature.
    I did my training in the City with a lovely man who was a great lawyer and worked in order to live (and not the opposite). He tried to tell me but I had to learn this for myself, so I am not sure how you educate people to understand this.

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