Clocking in

OC staff to be in the office 'more often than not' or they'll be paid 'less money than others'

Osborne Clarke is making it mandatory for staff to attend the office three times a week, in order to be eligible for a bonus.

The firm's Chief People Officer, Graham de Guise, told RollOnFriday: "We do expect our people to be in the office 'more often than not'," which means "three days a week spent in one of our offices or with clients."

Outlining how this would affect bonuses, de Guise said: "To be considered for a bonus, our people would normally need to reach our minimum expectations across a number of areas," which includes "being in the office 'more often than not'." He acknowledged that there would be a "number of valid reasons" when it "isn't always possible" for some staff to come in. 

The firm has recently opened its brand spanking new HQ office in Bristol. OC's Chief People Officer extolled the virtues, from the firm's perspective, of working in the office, as he said it "brings so many benefits in building and maintaining relationships, collaboration sparking ideas and learning from each other as well as preserving our unique culture."  

Those that meet the bum-on-office-seat requirement (and other targets) at OC may be rewarded with bonuses that include: "performance bonuses up to 20%" and "a discretionary long-term incentive plan with a bonus of up to 40% paid over a period of three years." The firm also handed out "a 4% profit share in June" to certain "eligible colleagues."

One OC insider told RollOnFriday that they would consider moving firms as the mandatory policy "won’t work" for their current childcare arrangements.

Skadden is another firm that has pushed for its staff to spend more time in the office. The US firm recently announced it would be changing its agile working policy to require lawyers to spend four days a week in the office (although this does not, as yet, apply to business services staff). Given that Skadden pays its lawyers handsomely (its NQs are on a salary of £165k plus a bonus) some may see the policy as part of a Faustian pact.

Other firms have embraced remote working. At the most flexible end of the legal spectrum, DAC Beachcroft and Irwin Mitchell have given staff the option to work remotely full time. 

At the time of announcing its flexible approach, Flex Forward, in 2021, DACB's Managing Partner David Pollitt said: "If someone wants to start work early, carve out an hour to go to the gym and another hour to do the school pick-up, all while working from home, Flex Forward supports that." He added that: "We trust our colleagues to find their own balance and we want them to have the flexibility to design a life that works for them," said Pollitt. "The future of work is changing and so must we."  

RollOnFriday's poll last year of over 4,500 lawyers and law firm staff revealed that there was a huge preference towards WFH for at least the majority of the week. And early results in the RollOnFriday In-House lawyers survey indicate that most clients are happy for their lawyers to work from home.  

"WFH has clear benefits for many people and leads to more relaxed, balanced habits," said one client. "We'd like our lawyers to be trusted to get things done without them being chained to their desks."

Another in-house lawyer said: "I want them to work however suits them and enables them to do my work in a way that doesn't screw up their mental health."

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Falss Guise 21 July 23 08:22

"If you are a working parent, or female, you will of course be paid less and your career prospects will be damaged, but we are pretending that this is a bonus issue because we are scared of being sued". A decision worthy of the sh!ttiest West Wend firm.

Anonymous OC-er 21 July 23 08:35

Unless I've missed a memo, this hasn't actually been announced / made at all clear internally at OC. Good stuff.

Parsnip 21 July 23 08:54

This is presenteeism at its worst.  They want to cling onto the idea that people still need to be in the office but accept that it does not impact productivity - as otherwise it would not be a separate metric. 


Anonymous 21 July 23 09:17

Hmm, which Bristol-based firm has just moved into its shiny new (presumably very expensive) offices? Could there be any connection?

Anonymous 21 July 23 09:18

Notwithstanding this announcement, OC will continue to end up in the top rung of Roll on Friday’s annual review alongside other well run and celebrated firms with close to 100% ratings, Shearman & Sterling (about to be asset stripped by A&O to avoid bankruptcy) and Travers Smith (lost 15% of its partnership in about a week).   

Meanwhile, Australia’s best law firm Mallesons merges with SJ Berwin and a Chinese firm, then the entire business west of Suez collapses and it is now Eversheds?!?!

Fuck me, this industry is mad.

Anonymous 21 July 23 09:23

Given the firm has said they are not personally monitoring our attendance through entry cards etc, I'm curious to know how they will check this.  Unless that policy has changed without being communicated either!

Great policy 21 July 23 09:36

More of this please


too many people are taking the mickey 


especially those on a London salary living in no man’s land in the shoes about 5 hours away 



[Not] OC HR 21 July 23 09:43

It’s not a big ask to turn up to your place of work 60% of the week. It’s plausible that people present in the office and hitting their billable targets may bring additional value that people working from home (and hitting billable targets) may not bring. Of course this won’t be true in all cases but is likely to be true in most 

Anon 21 July 23 09:55

A few of my team have discreetly moved to the north and south west whilst casually trousering a London wage and never visiting the office.

Summersam 21 July 23 09:57

I know of a senior associate who has moved to the highlands and flys down from Inverness a couple of days a month whilst pocketing £200k.

Anon 21 July 23 10:06

OC signed a 12 year lease on a huge shiny office in February 2020 mere weeks before lockdown and presumably assuming 5 days a week in the office would remain the norm. They did it while the building was still under construction so they've only just moved in. What do you think commercial office real estate prices have done since then? 

This looks like a bad way to make a poorly timed decision look like less of blunder.  

Jaded Vet 21 July 23 10:31

It's disingenuous to suggest this is some big change. OC's policy has been "more often than not" for over a year now. What did people think that meant? 

Anonymous 21 July 23 10:38

"Given that Skadden pays its lawyers handsomely (its NQs are on a salary of £165k plus a bonus) some may see the policy as part of a Faustian pact."

Er, no.

It's because they are unique geniuses and it needs them to survive.

They'll all leave any day now and Skadden will struggle to replace them. In fact, it's happening already! Those £1m+ boneheads who run the place are all dinosaurs who just don't have a clue!

I know I said it last month, but this time I really mean its right around the corner. You'll see!

Authorities Bundle 21 July 23 10:40

OK.  Happy to work in the office if that means that I can stop doing all the work I do outside the office when I'm home from work on in-office days, on vacation, on public holidays etc no longer needs to be done.  

Anon 21 July 23 10:41

Transparently linked to OC’s recent move into its new office in Bristol, which will now seem like an expensive decision given it was decided in the pre-COVID landscape. 

Mandatory policies like this smack of insecure micromanagement. Trust your people to be adults about coming into the office. Obviously have a word if someone is taking the piss coming in just a handful of times a month, but this sort of crackdown is never good for morale (ironic, given OC’s enormous focus on wellbeing) 

have you checked? 21 July 23 10:44

@Parsnip 21 July 23 08:54 - actually almost all new data shows that WFH does impact productivity (from a person currently WFH and scrolling RoF on a Friday!).

OC Anonymous 21 July 23 10:45

I haven't heard the word 'mandatory' being used in relation to being in the office. 

I used to work at a firm where people could work at home every day if they wanted to. It was miserable - the office was dead. I much prefer knowing that if I come to the office there will be other people around. The environment here is great.

Anonymous OC 21 July 23 10:55

Hmmm, appears things have changed since Ray Berg stepped down from Managing Partner. Used to be a firm where you had a good work-life balance and the culture/people were better than any other firm - which made up for the subpar pay. The last 6 months and next year or so will make a great case study in how to ruin a great firm. Nice one. 

A client 21 July 23 11:09

This is a fascinating use of stick rather than carrot.  The impact of this will fall more on women's shoulders because the fact is they are more likely to do more childcare including drop offs and pick ups.  Women will be less likely to apply to a firm with a mandatory policy like this.

It will be interesting, if this policy remains, to look at the firm's diversity and pay gap stats in five and ten years.  It won't be a pretty picture. 

The firm is already not doing great, 2021 stats 58% female legal staff, 28% female partner. 

Anon 21 July 23 11:18

@have you checked? 21 July 23 10:44 - I don't think where you are makes much difference to productivity, it all depends on your personal work ethic and equally the appropriate delegation of matters from a more senior person in the team/appropriately delegating matters to your team (from a person currently in the office and scrolling RoF on a Friday!).  

Anonymous 21 July 23 11:36

"Women will be less likely to apply to a firm with a mandatory policy like this"

Collapse! Any day now!

They won't be able to get the staff!

You'll see, you'll see. Those equity partners who have run successful legal firms for longer than I have been in practice just don't know what they're doing. Ruin is right around the corner for them.

People willing to pick up a fat cheque for coming into the office and then diligently cranking out documents while they are there are in extremely short supply!

OC Anon 21 July 23 11:42

Add this to the decision to make feedback for end of year reviews not anonymous (absolutely ridiculous in terms of interpersonal management) and you’ll see this firm is on the slide.  

OC Insider but not for much longer 21 July 23 12:07

The biggest joke is that most of the partners in my team don't do this themselves... 

Anonymous 21 July 23 12:09

"I don't think where you are makes much difference to productivity, it all depends on your personal work ethic"

Yes. Most people don't have one of those.

So for that 90% of the population it really does make an enormous difference.


Now, if you'll excuse me, the BBC Sport section isn't going to browse itself.

OC PA 21 July 23 12:18

Agree with Jaded Vet, we were asked to do 'more often than not' around Sept 2021 (Ray and HR did a video explaining). Many of us have no problem doing 3 days a week, it's the entitled that have been frothing about coming in and I am not just talking about the PAs.  1LW on a Friday is like the Marie Celeste in certain departments.

Anonymous 21 July 23 12:30

They are not seeing the big picture at all by making this '3 days bums on seats' attendance mandatory, supposedly for bonus reasons.  Having more flexibility would help to reduce sick days because people who aren't feeling well enough to travel to the office could potentially still work from their home.  The same as parents with childcare issues or people with other responsibilities.  Where is the wellbeing priority there.  Such backward thinking from a supposedly forward thinking firm.

Anon US firm lawyer 21 July 23 12:36

Seems pretty stupid from OC. I can see the top-paying law firms starting to do this sort of thing over the next 12 months - they can probably get away with it because of the money they pay, provided that all similar law firms make the move around the same sort of time. So Kirkland, Skadden, Weil, Ropes, STB, Latham etc.

But why on earth would a firm like OC do it. For associates, flexibility is now as much as a currency as cash is. And OC cannot compete on cash with the top firms. So focus on giving the associates the flexibility we all want.

Genuinely gutted at the direction the legal market is going. I thought we'd all learned from the pandemic that we can do our jobs in a flexible way - go into the office when we need to like at the business end of a deal, for BD, maybe one or two anchor days a week so that the team all sees each other, but then work remotely if it suits. 

In my opinion, the US firm that wins the battle for the top talent will be the one that treats its associates as adults and says give us 2,000 billables a year, but do so under flexible working conditions that work for you and your family, provided you get into the office a couple of days a week to show your face, do all your client events and generally keep the peace. I'll move to that firm!

For all you OC associates - good luck. Make sure you ask the question on how the office police are going to gather the data - like does swiping in after 10am means a cross for that day? Sorry guys - it sucks.

Anonymous 21 July 23 12:41

"Where is the wellbeing priority there.  Such backward thinking from a supposedly forward thinking firm."

Yes, it's desire to have people in the office doing their jobs and ensuring the organisation's profitability, in preference to having those people pull a wage for attending to domestic errands, will no doubt come back to haunt them sooner or later.

These successful partners never seem to know what they're doing. Why they can't listen to the wisdom from the sages of 9-5 I'll never know.

Any day now, they'll see, any day now the collapse will be along.

Another OCer 21 July 23 12:43

1. This is a leak from the firm meeting following year end. Can only assume the OC people saying this is new didn't go? It is ridiculous when barely any of the partners do 3 days a week.

2. Don't think this is linked to Halo, the new Bristol office. Halo has fewer desks than the old Temple Quay office. The reduced space in Halo has been a big topic of conversation at OC for ages.

3. They have heavily indicated that barely anyone is getting a bonus this year (above the 4% profit share) anyway

4.  We're not getting pay rises in line with inflation. So look forward to that in coming weeks!

... There's been a change of tone since Conrad became managing partner. 

In-house lawyer 21 July 23 13:06

As per the other comments, I wonder whether this is because of their shiny new office? If so, not so wise for a firm that prides itself on being innovative. Being in the office has no bearing on what firm I instruct. If being in the office would result in greater legal fees, then i'd much rather be in the camp of lawyer's working in an agile model. 

Plus working from home has many benefits!!! Sad state of affairs if OC does push ahead with this.

Anon 21 July 23 13:46

Interesting to see if this kicks off similar requirements at other firms. In reality the (senior) partners at most firms hate WFH phenomenon but the red hot recruitment market has tied their hands. Given how many places have frozen hiring those associates saying "right I'm off then" may be in for a surprise!  

Anonymous 21 July 23 14:29

Simpler to spend money on this than on working out how to do remote working culture properly, I imagine.

If I was an OC bod, I might be interested in how many women vs men this would affect.

Lawyer from a successful firm with a 2 day a week policy 21 July 23 14:36

As others have said, not sure how this plays with diversity.  Not just women who are more likely to have child-caring responsibilities, but older staff who are more likely to have aged relatives who need help or have health conditions themselves, and disabled staff.

If you are achieving your targets/meeting criteria for bonuses, you should get a bonus.  Where you do that work should be irrelevant.  Clients don't care where your bottom is sat when you do their work.

OK Boomer 21 July 23 15:20

The only reason boomer partners like those at OC who hate WFH is because they miss being able to have affairs and miss having an excuse to be away from their miserable home lives.

Anonymous 21 July 23 15:49

"If you are achieving your targets/meeting criteria for bonuses, you should get a bonus."

It's funny, people spend one week banging on about how certain places are sweatshops that only care about sweating associates to hit target hours; where the partners don't even know who their associates are never mind have any regard for any kind of distinction between those associates' their working hours and home hours.

But then the next they're here stamping their feet over wfh and insisting that firms should only care about whether associates have hit target hours no matter where they log them from. As if they actually want to be treated like numbers in a spreadsheet.

OC exodus in 5, 4, 3, 2... 21 July 23 16:10

@Anon US firm lawyer 12:36 is spot on. OC is not competitive with salaries. It's really at the lower end of the market. A key selling point  for recruitment has been work/life balance and flexibility... but that's going to change now for the worse.

Staff are bound to leave as they'll choose other firms either for more money or better work/life balance and flexibility. There are plenty of firms that will offer both more money and better work/life balance and flexibility. It will be a no brainer to go elsewhere.

Persuading people to join OC is going to be very tough in the future for the same reasons. A very poor, short-sighted decision by management.

One rule for all.. 21 July 23 18:15

‘’It’s not a big ask to turn up to your place of work 60% of the week. It’s plausible that people present in the office and hitting their billable targets may bring additional value that people working from home (and hitting billable targets) may not bring. Of course this won’t be true in all cases but is likely to be true in most’’

Not all individuals can turn up to work physically 60% of the week. Covid showed that work can be carried out from home quite effectively. Flat policies like this hits those with young families (working Mums and dads with care responsibilities / young children) hardest. 

Not everyone is a single male/female without other commitments so as to be able to physically get into to an office 60% of the week. That’s why flexible working rights was introduced in the first place. Now you’re making it hard for this group to get a bonus.. 

Sounds like indirect sex discrimination claims are gonna rise for HR at OC. At least your employment team will be able to draft defences from their shiny new offices looking down on the Simmons building :-) 

Anon 21 July 23 18:21

I thought this firm was more enlightened than the presenteeism bull***t. 
Obviously not. 
Family people, don’t apply here. 

Female Osborne Clarke Lawyer 21 July 23 18:45

I love the people at OC, the culture and the work (well, as much as you can for a job as a lawyer!). But I need the flexibility too. I have children and a long commute.

Sadly making 3 days mandatory will mean I'll have to change firms. I hope OC management thinks twice and changes its mind on this policy. A U-turn would show that management listens to its people.   

Anon 21 July 23 18:54

Don’t get the fuss. It’s their business, their policy. Most of them would have been doing 5 days a week pre-covid. No doubt even OC lawyers realise if it’s not contractual, what leg do you have to stand on but to appreciate the flexibility they’re offering. Don’t like it - negotiate an alternative arrangement or leave.

Ronald Winterbottom 21 July 23 20:42

For a firm that champions D&I, it’s classic that they are now trying to exclude the agoraphobics from bonuses 

OC Forever 21 July 23 22:41

Lots of posters above seem to know the price of everything and the value of nothing. Working from home more often than not is personally selfish, and results in missed opportunities for educational and professional growth (particularly in junior lawyers), legal knowledge, cross selling between multi disciplinary teams, and client service. There is only so much you can achieve on a time limited internal Teams call. Nothing beats an ad hoc in person face to face meeting with colleagues when client advice is as usual required urgently. Teams meetings were the only option during an oppressive lockdown period of national emergency when clients under similar conditions would make allowances. Law firm staff need to wake up and remember that we are an industry driven by personal service - without that individual firms are indistinguishable drones - and we are no longer working under Covid restrictions. The only sector who wanted that to continue ad infinitum were the far left trades unions who hate us and our profit making evil ways. It’s high time  commercially focused lawyers remembered this, stopped whingeing about a personal benefit accrued to them during a lamentable period of history, grew a pair and got back to the office more often than not. 

OC Escapee 21 July 23 22:46

Thank god I made it out when I did.

All I hear from my old OC colleagues is that the former solid culture has evaporated into a noxious gas, scented by the rotten souls of the "management" from whom it is excreted and infecting anyone unfortunate enough to inhale it unwittingly or, even worse, breathing it in deeply in the hope it will help them climb the pole greased with the blood, toil, tears and sweat of those that have fallen before them.

Sounds like Conrad has got off to a cracking start. Shit culture, shit morale, shit pay, shit hours, shit policies, shit management and a soon to be (if not already) shit reputation. Hopefully Ashley Hurst is around long enough to fix the last two. Oh wait.

Departing Client 21 July 23 23:10

I’m a client of OC and the work is becoming slower and slower as the teams thin out. Associates are leaving en masse due to the rotten culture. 

I’m done with them. 


As a great Man of Colour once said "They ain't no solutions, only trade offs". We went from 5 days in the office to 0 at home then gradually increased from 0 to 3. Not so bad even you look at it that way. In the meantime we have the fantastic Bola Gibson at the helm..[She/he/they] is fantastic but no one is perfect and I have heard people comment that [she/he/they] can be a bit intolerant of noise and complain "keep it down!", "turn it down!". We all have our flaws..I'm just pleased [she/he/they] is now absolutely indispensable and making the decisions instead of the crusted old white men.Yuck

Not an associate 22 July 23 06:59

Few points missed by the (presumably) associates posting here 

1) your job is more than billable hours. You are more than billable hours. Billable hours are important but there are lots of other things to being a lawyer that are equally important - developing colleagues, culture, BD, client management, internal management. 

There are places for associates who just want to bill hours and log off but more places for associates who want to develop and have careers.

2) everyone promises mass exodus of staff every time a firm does anything - small pay rises, work from office mandates etc - but it's never happened. Sure a few will leave but vast majority wont. It won't really impact the attrition rate.

OC know this. They have worked it out. Maybe they want a few WFH types to leave? They will never knowingly make a decision that impacts profit. 

3) work where you want to work and for a firm that has policies you agree with/work for you. But don't expect the firm to always do what you want. It owes you nothing. You know that 'its just a job mentality' we have these days? It's the same for the firm, you are just an employee. 

Anonymous 22 July 23 09:03

Don’t you just love delusional “leaders” talking crap about their toxic cultures.  Culture is defined by the degrees of toxicity caused by delusional “leaders” desire for control.  
The boring chatter around culture needs to stop. 

Anon 22 July 23 09:40

Not an associate 22 July 23 06:59

True that. Most firms don’t give a flying phuck about their staff (fee earners or otherwise) or their partners.

I work on the basis that you provide services for a salary or a profit share and the firm makes money from you; if either party underperforms or their respective values change then either party can move on. 

Anon 22 July 23 10:23

@Not an associate - that’s just inane, banal management speak. Of course billable hours are the most important thing, especially when it comes to bonuses (which is what this company mandate is related to). To say anything else is David Brent nonsense 

Nice one 22 July 23 13:57

OC have spent the past year crying that their landlord in London won't give them the swipe card data showing when people arrive / leave. How is this going to be monitored / recorded accurately? Is Conrad going to come round and take the register? 

Anonymous 23 July 23 05:30

I have heard that OC intends on creating a separate bonus bracket which increases with every pronoun you add to your email signature. 

Anonymous 23 July 23 08:50

Are there any firms in the City whose policy is just come in if/when you want? If 2.5 days is unreasonable, what’s the right amount?

Anonymous 23 July 23 09:03

Pondering this, there are 260 working days in the year. Let’s say you waste two hours commuting on each of those days = 520 extra chargeable hours. 3/5 (3 days a week) is 312 chargeable hours. If bonuses were only about chargeable hours (which we all used to complain about because it ignored other contributions) isn’t it unfair on the guy who goes to work 3 days a week (but loses 312 chargeable hours), while his mate sits at home, has no commuting costs, and/or has moved to much cheaper accommodation somewhere else, but gets a bonus because he did more chargeable hours?
Also, if this really was all about money and other factors didn’t come into play, wouldn’t all firms insist that everyone works at home all the time to maximise chargeable hours?! Whether people use the shiny offices or not, cost stays the same, doesn’t it? 

Anonymous 23 July 23 14:46

@Anonymous 23 July 09:03

The point that people waste chargeable hours when they commute is exactly a reason why people should be allowed to work from home to be more efficient and not be penalised for it.

Anonymous 24 July 23 17:44

A bonus for attendance is spot on. My East India Club fees are up again and kids are back from Oundle. We are standing up against flexibility in the workplace. Shame on the people for moving away and refusing to take a lower wage - I have a gardener to pay!

No one listens on Teams and people mute me. I can't hold court - my god man, do you know they record what we say! Do you see now what happens when we give other people a voice, let them into the workforce? Next they'll be burning the office furniture and nursing babies in the conference room.

How will the pub survive if I'm not there at 14:30 everyday? 

Anonymous 25 July 23 15:15

A lot of comments from out of touch lawyers, with no children or any other sort of commitments other than to their ‘work’. The ‘bonus’ wouldn’t even cover travel expenses for most non-lawyer staff. The comments/new policy by OC suggests that they value presence rather than quality work and employee satisfaction.

Sure if your only commitments is to turn up at your desk to over paid job then fine.

Balancing responsibilities such as parenting with office attendance with regular school strikes, train strikes, or whatever other strikes are on the horizon just to be present when the job can be more often than not be done from your own home seems unnecessary. The bonus just is not worth it unless you are earning significant amounts as it is. This is not the culture that OC claims to promote.

Cult-ure Vulture 25 July 23 18:02

It’s all about control.  Force them into the office or  bribe them to come into the office.  They hark back to the days of mill owners, forcing workers to clock in and clock out again.

Show me a managing partner spouting about culture, and I’ll show you a greedy corporate psychopath desperate to regain control.

Morgan Freeman 25 July 23 21:34

Hi, I’m famous actor Morgan Freeman. I think that it’s a bit silly to impose a negative on what was clearly going to be an incredibly unpopular policy. How about, you are entitled to a bigger bonus if you attend the office 3 days a week? But hey, what do I know? I am just famous actor Morgan Freeman, I’m not a genius manager like Conrad. 

Anonymous 26 July 23 10:34

OC insider -  The new office is smaller and can't accommodate all staff at the same time so there was always going to be some hybrid working, however, there is a great divide, business support staff have worked 3+ days in the office since the end of lockdown, they are working parents too and have to manage.  When is this rule going to apply to fee-earners who seem to do whatever they want? As usual it's one rule for one... And those FE's/managers earning vast sums moaning they can't afford commuting costs, well you shouldn't have bought that second home or moved to the Outer Hebrides, my heart bleeds (maybe I pricked it whilst wearing my orange pronoun badge)

ex OC 26 July 23 13:09

OC manage to get away with this because where else are you going to go? In London, some juniors will always go for the US dollar but most mid level and above won’t have the CV to go anywhere good, and in Bristol/Reading where else is there to go that isnt either equally nasty or a bit too shit. The firm only ever managed to get decent people on the basis it was a nice place to be, and a lot of very decent people have left in the last three years. Most of the thickos remain. 

Ex OC er 26 July 23 15:23

Bonuses were next to non existent anyway so think I would fore-go this and carry on WFH majority of the time. Sad to see a move which harms families and is indirect discrimination against women, the majority of part time workers, who are disproportionately impacted by this. Come on someone be brave enough to set a nice precedent by taking it to tribunal. 

Soon to be former OCer 26 July 23 22:25

As well as ‘encouraging’ us to come into the office, we have to mark on our calendars when we will be in, what office we will be in and on what day, micromanagement at its finest.

With benchmarking in London in the bin, you’ll be seeing a lot of the long term employees leaving for competitors and taking their important knowledge with them, without a single care from senior management - really sad for a firm that only a couple of years ago had such an amazing culture with leadership that really supported its people, it’s very obvious that isn’t the same now.

Anonymous 27 July 23 09:31

"brings so many benefits in building and maintaining relationships, collaboration sparking ideas and learning from each other as well as preserving our unique culture."

CPO doing their best, but all unmeasurable metrics. Meaningless tropes. Pretending that tech cannot adequately compensate. And reflective of the void of data to justify more office-working. 

Pure presenteeism at its finest. A power trip. 

Anonymous 27 July 23 11:09

OC pay is well below market (£110k for 6 years PQE) and so people need to bear that in mind when listening to the moans about bonus. We are paid shite but the trade off is better hours and flex. OC now rowing back on that 

Lawfirm Yourneyman 27 July 23 12:03

Does anyone remember when working from home was seen as a privilege and not as God given right? And now you have junior members of staff crying when a firm asks of them to be in the office 3 days a week? Its also  hit on the trend that happened during Covid where Londoners were moving on masse to the countryside sometimes 4 hours from London and then expect to get paid the same salary that included London weighting even though they never actually go to London and WFH all the time.

And all of this crying, oh no, now I will have to commute ..Well , sorry to be the bearer of bad news but you knew where the office was located when you took the job, so cry me a river and get on the train or leave and find another law firm that will pay you to sit at home and do yoga and bake banana bread.

And don't get me started with the pronouns.


OC Insider 27 July 23 12:23

The real icing on the cake is that the swanky new Bristol office doesn't actually have enough seats for staff, resulting in a shambolic hot desk booking system that forces staff to work from home. But you know, be in the office more often than not.

Lord New Burger 27 July 23 21:02

I have to agree with Morgan Freeman above. Surely just add a discretionary bonus bracket for those that attend the office 3 days a week. Such a basic positive spin, even a moron like me, Lord New Burger, could think of it. Morale is so low at OC at the moment that I’m starting to forget whose pronoun is what

Lord Gumption 28 July 23 13:36

I have had the benefit of reading the judgment of my noble and learned friend Lord New Burger, with which, with much sadness, I entirely agree. It is quite clear Morgan Freeman, with his honest and common sense approach, would manage this once great firm better than its current management is willing or able.

I have no doubt this policy of OC's management will be seen as a monument of collective hysteria and folly in the years ahead when the vast majority of its existing workforce have escaped from their current ignominious captivity for better lives at better firms with better pay, policies and cultures.


Former OC 28 July 23 16:39

It's up to OC what they mandate.  Equally, employees can do what they like as a result.  

I left OC relatively recently. By doing so I significantly increased my salary, stopped working weekends and I now have a much better work / life balance.  I only work one day a week in the office and I am able to spend more time with my young family. 

I really enjoyed working at OC, but I am so much happier now.  

Needing to be in an office three days a week is complete nonsense.   

In my opinion, this is being driven by OC signing an expensive lease at a really unfortunate time.

If you don't like it, you have options.  

Current OC employee 31 July 23 11:38

The office is a ghost town Mon and Fri but undoubtedly we would struggle to seat everyone in the new office with the 3 days on-site rule. We commuted before the pandemic why can’t we do that now although based on the amount of people who will be receiving a bonus this year I am hearing a lot of people think there’s no point…

Anon 02 August 23 21:03

Only on ROF could anyone argue that as they're paid so little, it's unreasonable to expect them to turn up. 

Anonymous 04 August 23 11:54

Let me remind you little whinging, puling, miscreant children that whilst I may have been told to leave the office I will not be denied the congeniality of my male colleagues' company. If not the boardroom then the Waterloo room! Yes, the dues are paid, the horses fed, and the Au Pair has taken the kids for a lunch.

Stop it with change! Real men don't belong in the office mingling with types of people below our station. You heard the man, some of you do yoga and bake bread with fruit! I pay people to do those things for me.

So who is laughing? I am laughing.

Anonymous 04 August 23 21:57

Anon 02 August 23 21:03

Only on ROF could anyone argue that as they're paid so little, it's unreasonable to expect them to turn up. 


By "turn up" you imply "do the job they are paid to do": to act as lawyers. They were forced to, did, and continue to be able to do this from home. Your nonsensical comment fails before it even begins. 

Anon 07 August 23 17:36

As an OC survivor this honestly does not surprise me one bit. An extremely toxic culture from the top down. In-fighting and treading on each other to get to the "top". Will be interesting to see how this impacts the RoF's survey results this year...

Harvey Weinstein 08 August 23 08:35

Hi, it's me former film producer and convicted sex offender, Harvey Weinstein.

Some of my buddies here in the penitentiary told me Morgan commented so I felt I had to jump in. They don't give me much time online so I better be quick. I have to disagree with Morgan. On set you needed people physically together so they could work together and film the scenes. I mean how else could it be done? Surely that applies to office jobs too, unless some new practices or video conferencing programs have been introduced since I was on the outside.

So the way I see it the more butts, or bums as you Brits say, on seats in the office, the better. Especially if I can give them a good sniff afterwards. Mmmm... anyway I'm out of time so back to my cell with that thought.

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