'Whatever your stage in life, Cooley has a family plan for you™'
Cooley is offering £45,000 to UK staff for fertility treatment, surrogacy, and egg-freezing.
The US firm is providing all its London office employees, including singletons and those in same-sex relationships, the option to claim £45,000 towards the cost of IVF, egg-freezing, adoption, or hiring a "gestational carrier".
Cooley senior lawyer Sascha Grimm said the firm was "delighted to offer this industry-leading fertility and family-forming package to our London office", adding that the firm "supports all paths to parenthood".
Grimm said Cooley is also offering three months of paid parental leave to mothers and to the "non-birthing parent" as part of its package of 'Cooley Eggey' (unofficial title) measures, which will bring the London branch of Cooley up to speed with the treatments on offer at its Stateside offices.
Some scepticism has greeted the perks, however, with critics questioning the ethics of surrogacy - in particular the problem of whether it exploits poorer women for the benefit of rich buyers - and whether facetime and billing expectations helped create an environment in which fertility treatments and egg-freezing were more likely to be necessary.
"An even better idea might be to change your culture so that working women don’t feel that, if they want to get on, then they have to put off having a family till they are of an age when they are likely to need fertility treatment", said one commenter in The Times.
Others viewed the policy as a positive attempt to help staff. "I’m sure there are strings attached but to anyone suffering from infertility this would be a godsend", said one.
Lawyers on RollOnFriday were similarly split in 2016, when Latham & Watkins began providing nursing mothers at the firm the chance to ship their breast milk home to their babies while they were working abroad.
Some blasted the perk as an example of female lawyers being encouraged to put their job before motherhood, but others saw it as a welcome opportunity for women to pursue their jet-set careers without having to press pause during the years they breastfed their children (albeit not in person).
Clifford Chance has rolled out a similar scheme to fund fertility treatments, to the tune of £15,000. Alternatives for readers whose firms don't offer a package are available, however: RollOnFriday can recommend Lawyr, although results may vary.