A&O clocks up hours with personal time plans

Allen & Overy is pushing ahead with the introduction of personal time plans for all its lawyers, despite earlier opposition from associates over new targets exceeding 2,000 office hours.

Susan Howard, A&O’s managing partner for corporate in London, has moved to reassure her associates that the new targets will not be linked to salaries or bonuses.

A memo also stressed that associates would be able to tailor the generic department plan to reflect their own roles. The development of personal time plans forms part of A&O’s appraisal cycle.

Employment, pensions and incentives (EPI) associates raised concerns when they were asked to record an extra 500-600 office hours on top of chargeable targets of 1,600-1,700, taking them up to a total of 2,200 hours (The Lawyer, 18 August).

Corporate targets are slightly lower. The suggested breakdown is for middle-ranking associates to spend a total of 2,175 hours on firm business, comprising 1,700 billable hours and 425 on other firm business. Senior associates have a target of 2,195 hours, including 1,700 billable, and partners 2,400.

Jonathan Bond, head of HR for corporate, said: “We asked associates what communication was needed. They asked for further dialogue to be conducted within each individual practice group.”