Gateley umbrellas

Less homeworking = better brand presence in the cities*

Gateley is changing its remote working policy to increase the number of minimum days in the office from two to three days. 

The change won't affect the firm's most junior lawyers who are already in the office for the vast majority of the week: trainees and 0-2 PQE lawyers were told, post pandemic, to be in the office for 4 days a week, when the firm set out its hybrid policy.

But, up until now, the majority of Gateley staff have only had to come into the office for two days a week. The new updated policy, which requires staff to be in for three days, will take effect from 6 November, although it applies with immediate effect for partners.

“We remain committed to hybrid working and we do see the benefits it brings," a Gateley spokeswoman told RollOnFriday. "It’s also important we have something in place that will encourage us to strike the balance between the flexibility that remote working allows while still being able to build on and retain our culture, provide better team collaboration and networking opportunities, and help those early into their careers to have the face-to-face support and mentoring that is critical for their own career development.”

A source said that the firm had told staff that it wants to build “brand presence” around UK cities "when staff pop out of the office to lunch with their branded umbrellas".

However, the firm's spokeswoman denied that staff were being ordered to brandish a brolly: "We know we are far more likely to have a better brand presence out and about in the cities in which we have offices if we have a greater presence in our offices for the majority of the week. This has formed part of our communication to staff but at no point have we said that we want people to ‘pop out of the office to lunch with branded umbrellas’!" 

She added: "Naturally, when you are in the office more there is better opportunity to attend locally based industry events and network with peers, clients and intermediaries, which is important in any people-based business." 

* Branded umbrellas not compulsory - see above

Tip Off ROF


Anonymous 13 October 23 09:17

How very 1980’s.  
This translates into

”We the control freaks, cannot be seen to demand that everybody go back to 5 days, so we will adopt stealth tactics to achieve our aims.  First 3 days, then 4.  The final push back to 5 will be achieved through financial penalties and ridicule - not tough enough to do 5 days huh?”

This will bite them on the arse. 

Back to the 80’s for the non-progressive firms.


Trainee rebellion 13 October 23 09:41

Perhaps this is down to the fact that 0-2 years are in the office twiddling thumbs and not receiving work/mentoring/support etc? 

FAOD - Speculating, not a Gateley employee

...and 13 October 23 10:32

...all the good people leave, leaving behind the control freaks, the presentees, the office gossips, the lonely and the trainees desperate to get some peace away from the family/housemates.

I remember when 13 October 23 10:47

Unless it has changed in recent years: the vast majority of departments actively discouraged talking, communicating, and never a sniff of collaboration was seen. Unless it was a partner pontificating on how great they are, otherwise conversations were "bad". Once partner used to passively aggressively put fingers in their ears to make it known that talking is not allowed. 

Gateleys turnover has actually increased since it permitted WFH, makes you wonder why now? Surely nothing to do with many staff getting itchy feet about lack of pay and/or bonus and thus WFH allows them more time to look for a new job. Make 'em come in more that will win hearts and minds! 

Scoon 13 October 23 11:05

Gateley’s overall headcount has only grown over the last few years because of their non-legal acquisitions. Lawyers are leaving in droves following pitiful or no pay rises and frozen bonuses - now they want to end home working? The new COO is clearly still finding their feet…

Anonymous 13 October 23 13:05

The idea doesn’t fit with the law firm. 

You don’t join Gateley if your career is your priority. You join it if your cosy life is the priority and work comes very much a second.

So why would someone join a firm like that and then sign up to these requirements? Expect an exodus: 

Hill 13 October 23 13:16

If Gateley are adopting very archaic working policies, what exactly is the appeal of working there now? They don’t offer great salaries, their reputation is pretty mid and their stock is in the toilet.

Anonymous 13 October 23 13:26

If you gotta pay shareholders a divi, you can’t pay your up and coming lawyers that well.  
Best to avoid listed law firms, they are bucket shops. 

anonymous 13 October 23 13:44

I offer to brandish a Gateley Waring brolly in the city centre for an hour every lunchtime for just 75% of a GW associate's annual salary (provided I can do it in disguise -obvs).

Does that help?


Avoid listed firms... 13 October 23 19:48

...agree totally - avoid listed firms. Except Keystone - it won the Firm of the Year in 2021 by a wide margin and would probably have won in 2022 and 2023 as well had it not been disqualified for being such a great place to work it makes everywhere else look shit.

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