HOURS

Not overworked, and in fact it's highlighted capacity.


An Allen & Overy lawyer has been hospitalised after collapsing in the office, but the firm had ruled out overworking as the cause.

The associate was taken to hospital following the incident this week.

A&O rebuffed claims that the incident was sparked by exhaustion due to a particularly demanding high profile client.

A source claimed she was “overworked like all the other associates” working on the client’s matters, adding that partners “are beasting associates with crazy instructions and timelines” handed down by the client. 

They said that the client’s in-house lawyer could often be seen going over to A&O lawyers’ desks and “making demands” while “sipping on our diet Cokes”.

”It’s basically like working at an elite US firm”, they said.

In 2017 an associate in the Magic Circle firm’s Dubai office was hospitalised with exhaustion due to overwork when junior lawyers were said to be regularly working 18-20 hour days, seven days a week. 

However, a source close to the firm told ROF that the lawyer who collapsed this week had not been overworked and had been averaging under 30 hours a week. In addition she had not been working for the client in question, they added.

A spokesperson for A&O said, “A colleague was taken ill in one of our offices earlier this week and we are doing all we can to support them as they recover”.

“As part of our follow-up, we have looked into the cause and we are satisfied that their illness was not related to workload. Wellbeing is a key focus for us and we look to build a nurturing environment where we support all our colleagues.”


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Comments

Anon 13 October 23 09:22

Only 30 hours a week?! She was probably stressed about being fired.

Cynical Bastard 13 October 23 09:28

"They said that the client’s in-house lawyer could often be seen going over to A&O lawyers’ desks and “making demands” while “sipping on our diet Cokes”."

Yeah, not buying that one as plausible tbh. No firm is letting clients roam the office floor like that, let alone A&O.

 

Anonymous 13 October 23 09:40

Cynical Bastard 13 October 23 09:28

 

Correct, clients are allowed to go to the training rooms on the 2nd floor, the client meeting rooms in the 10th floor, and the Lavanda restaurant/bar on the 6th floor. Letting clients roam the office spaces would be a security breach for sure.

Anonymous 13 October 23 09:43

Averaging under 30 hours a week?

We would be hospitalised at our shop by way of having our arse kicked by line management. 

Mrs KC 13 October 23 10:13

”It’s basically like working at an elite US firm”, they said.

 

Nice confirmation that A&O is not a US firm and is not elite. 

Lydia 13 October 23 10:16

I would be surprised if clients were allowed into areas where lawyers work as that would be a major breach of confidentiality of other clients' work!

US associate 13 October 23 10:21

A&O ain’t elite. Latham / Paul, Weiss / K&E / Paul Hastings / Milbank / W&C are. 

Hours and hours 13 October 23 11:03

Averaging 30 hours a week over what period though? And are they including holiday in that figure?
Given how quiet it was earlier in the year, it’s easy to see how someone could be pulling in a couple of 300+ plus months and still be down at that average. Welcome to corporate law - the land of peaks and troughs…

Cynical Bastard 13 October 23 13:36

US associate 13 October 23 10:21:

"A&O ain’t elite. Latham / Paul, Weiss / K&E / Paul Hastings / Milbank / W&C are."

Lol no. Just because you might willingly give them your life on a plate to be feasted on by partners until they can throw away the scraps doesn't make them elite.

Anonymous 13 October 23 14:00

US associate 13 October 23 10:21:

"A&O ain’t elite. Latham / Paul, Weiss / K&E / Paul Hastings / Milbank / W&C are."

LoL. Check the current interest rates. The PE gravy train is about to hit the buffers hard.

Lets see how transferrable your W&I negotiation skills are then.

Anonymous 13 October 23 14:36

I've found troughs more anxiety-inducing than peaks. Associates are always punished for not being given enough hours.

Cynic 13 October 23 17:21

”It’s basically like working at an elite US firm”, they said. -- Friday 13th announcement - A&O IS now an elite US law firm following its merger with Shearman ....

White Shoe Lawyer 13 October 23 18:22

”It’s basically like working at an elite US firm”

*
“[She] had been averaging under 30 hours a week.”

In what world do these people live? As an associate at a White Shoe law firm, I acknowledge that sometimes we have less busy weeks when me and my colleagues bill around 50-60 hours a week.

These are exceptions though, and we’re required to immediately make sure our rainmakers are aware that we have capacity to assist. This ensures that we keep the billables excepted in a White Shoe law firm. Now, someone averaging 30 hours a week should be packing immediately (but it looks like it’s acceptable in the “Magic Circles” lol).

pugnosedgimp 14 October 23 00:22

 

new

White Shoe Lawyer 13 October 23 18:22

”It’s basically like working at an elite US firm”

*
“[She] had been averaging under 30 hours a week.”

In what world do these people live? As an associate at a White Shoe law firm, I acknowledge that sometimes we have less busy weeks when me and my colleagues bill around 50-60 hours a week.

These are exceptions though, and we’re required to immediately make sure our rainmakers are aware that we have capacity to assist. This ensures that we keep the billables excepted in a White Shoe law firm. Now, someone averaging 30 hours a week should be packing immediately (but it looks like it’s acceptable in the “Magic Circles” lol).

 

you sound fun - enjoy the weekend doc-blozzing

Anonymous 16 October 23 10:16

"excepted". What a dunce. 

Wanda of Probate 18 October 23 13:03

I work in a national UK firm and bill about 40 hrs a week and work c. 60 hours a week on average, that's enough. If I worked some of the hours that City lawyers do Id be divorced, unhealthy, depressed and completely miserable.

Escaped 18 October 23 18:29

averaging 30 hours a week (but contracted to work two days?)

Righteous associate 18 October 23 20:27

@Wanda of Probate - That is why you are in a regional UK firm. BigLaw is for the elites. 

Ex A&O 19 October 23 12:39

This has happened repeatedly at A&O in the past few years, notably in the London Projects team. 

It is an underreported issue, the relevant associate usually gets coddled with a few weeks (longest I've seen is 2 months) of paid sick leave and a generic email goes around saying "there was an incident and X is feeling better now. Please respect their privacy by not circulating." 

Usually happens as someone is approaching promotion to senior, i.e. gunning for work, and is also going through normal life stuff (having a baby, bereavement etc) at the same time. 

CC 20 October 23 07:09

Which department was it this time? Employment?

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