Clocking in

Clocking-in at 10 Upper Bank street

Clifford Chance is the latest firm to check on lawyers who aren't turning up to the office, by monitoring their attendance data. 

Post-Covid, the Magic Circle firm has adopted a hybrid working policy requiring staff to be in the office for 50% of their time eg. five days over a two week period. It is a fairly liberal policy as many City law firms require at least three days per week in the office. A number of US firms have moved to four days in the office, at least one of which is making bonuses contingent on attendance.

However, to ensure that CC staff don't dodge the office, the firm is tracking its staff, similar to the surveillance approach recently adopted by Slaughter and May.

A Clifford Chance spokeswoman told RollOnFriday: "To help our managers better understand and support their team's adherence to our hybrid working policy, from 1st February 2024, the firm will start to review data of individual attendance in London and Newcastle."

The spokeswoman also confirmed that CC is sticking with its flexible working policy: "We regularly review our approach to hybrid working and continue to believe that our current UK policy in of working from the office at least 50% over a two week period is right for our business, our clients and people." 

She added: "We know from our own experience and employee feedback that when consistently applied, our hybrid working policy provides our people a greater opportunity to learn, develop and collaborate with colleagues and clients thereby supporting our growth ambitions and enhancing the culture of the firm." 

If your firm is monitoring whether you're coming into office, do let RollOnFriday know.

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Anonymous 26 January 24 10:40

Yeah, well, um, that's another firm that's going to go bust any moment because I self-identify as doing my best work at home in my pants and my so-called 'boss' is a moron who doesn't understand my unique genius when he disagrees with that and wants me to have a shower and actually show up at work once in a while because he thinks that there might be some thinly specified benefit to people physically meeting those who they work with. 

Slaughters, Skadden, Freshfields, Paul Hastings, and now Clifford Chance. All of their talent will be off to new homes immediately because there are definitely enough vacancies for them all at competitors who will be happy to pay them at the level they're accustomed to despite never actually seeing them.

This is the New Normal! My prophecy is finally coming due! So Much Winning!

A&Nonymous 26 January 24 10:58

my firm has 100% been monitoring attendance since wfh became a thing. The partners get a report of who has been and how often, although so far this hasn't lead to anything more formal than a polite reminder of the 60% attendance policy in one-on-one chats.  Shocked if every firm isn't doing this, to be honest

Anonymous 26 January 24 11:26

Many law firms do this, only without advertising it. If your firm has recently updated its privacy policy, take a look to see if there is a new reference to your firm recording where a wifi login happened or collecting swipe card data etc. 


CC travers smith. 

Anonymous 26 January 24 12:12

All firms will inevitably monitor sign on data for remote working and swipe card data for access into an office - all systems will collect that data.  The question will be whether firms monitor and use that data either to bully people into the office, or to openly (or clandestinely) use it when dealing with career progression and pay reviews.

Anonymous 26 January 24 13:25

The funny thing about attendance is that it's usually the partners not turning up rather than business services or more junior lawyers.

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