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Agile Working

It starts with a yes

Being agile is essential to our business. In a world that is connected 24/7, the way we work needs to change to meet the needs of our people and our clients. We’ve invested in robust technology that supports agile working, and we are fostering an inclusive culture that empowers our people to determine when, where and how they get their work done.

We know that this is important for our people – supporting them to manage their careers alongside their life goals, makes them happier, healthier, more motivated and productive. We’re committed to making agile working a reality at Linklaters – we start with an open mind, a simple “yes” to exploring the possibilities, encouraging our people to embrace technology and try new ways of working.

Our People - life stories

Working flexibly from qualification to partnership

Laure de Panafieu, Partner, Singapore

Watch Laure's story

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YourLink, our alternative career model in Germany

Simon Grolig, Associate, Düsseldorf

YourLink is an innovative alternative career model for lawyers in our German offices. The flexitime model guarantees reliable, agreed working hours of (on average) 40 hours per week with a compensation package to match. Simon Grolig is a YourLink associate from our Düsseldorf office.

The YourLink career model is a unique opportunity to combine moderate working hours with exceptional colleagues and work. During university, I really came to value the quality of the work in major law firms, but didn’t think it would be an option for me because of the working hours. I want to have time for other aspects of my life – I recently became a dad and I still have time to go fishing! It makes working here an option for me. It’s innovative and forward-looking and works really well. 

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Smart working for 12 years

Shilpa Bhandarkar, Head of Innovation

Shilpa has had a truly agile career path. She was a lawyer here at Linklaters before founding and selling a technology business. Shilpa then became Legal Network Director for a start-up and returned to Linklaters as Head of Innovation in July 2018.

I have been agile, or as I like to say "I've worked smart" for the last 12 years, both inside the firm and outside it, before having children and after. I've adapted how I work to the needs of my life and my role at particular points in time. At Linklaters, I've worked from home on a fairly regular basis, worked part-time for a short period, and also informally adjusted my hours to start earlier in an attempt to also leave earlier. When I rejoined Linklaters as the Head of Innovation, I split my time between Amsterdam (where I lived at the time) and London (where my role is based). I couldn’t have even taken this role if the firm didn’t embrace agile working. The attitude of everyone I spoke to during the interview process was so refreshing and definitely played a part in my decision to come back to the firm.

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Going part-time as a partner

Nicolas Gauzès, Partner, Mainstream Corporate Practice, Luxembourg

Nicolas is a Partner in Mainstream Corporate in Luxembourg who works part-time and did so as an associate when his first son was born.

I work 80%. I have Wednesdays off where I coach my second son's rugby team and take time for myself. I wanted to work differently because I realised that I had everything I wanted in life but time. My arrangement also empowers my team. I rely on others and delegate with confidence. They know they are responsible and trusted, making the team stronger. Clients are also confident that the whole team is reliable. I am really proud to work in a partnership that embraces agile working and prioritises taking real care of our people – it shows who we are.

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Re:link, Contract lawyers from Linklaters

We connect our thriving community of market-leading contract lawyers in the UK with high-profile assignments at Linklaters and its clients, providing legal teams with expert support when they need it most.

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Accessibility and agility

Jas Brar, Paralegal, London

Jas Brar started in the firm's pro bono team. He is currently a paralegal in the eDisclosure and Review team in London.

I work from home a day a week on average, and some mornings if I have challenges with carers, I log in remotely too. I used to have rehab some afternoons, so on those days I would work in the morning, log out for the afternoon, and work again into the evening.

Linklaters was my first job post-injury. I had been looking for a couple of years and Linklaters was the first place to give me a try. I have now worked in three teams here, each said it was the first time they worked with someone with a physical disability. The great thing about them all was they were open about that from the outset and just wanted to work with me to make it a success. Agile working has been central to that.

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Working remotely and on the go

Fernando Íscar, Associate, Competition/Antitrust Practice, Düsseldorf

Fernando Íscar Rüland, Associate, is a member of the Spanish national freediving team and works in our Düsseldorf office. Working in an agile way has enabled him to continue his sport commitments alongside working out of both our German and Spanish offices.

As a Spanish lawyer (working abroad in Germany) and member of the Spanish national freediving team, I need to travel a lot. My laptop and phone enable me to work while I am travelling. Working from our different offices in Germany and Spain is always easy due to the technology available as it is essentially the same as sitting at my own desk.

The firm encouraged me to train and supported me to pursue my goals from the outset. I think the team gets a better version of me because of my sport – I'm calmer and more focused.

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Our Agile Working Journey 

We recognised that we needed to change the way we work back in 2015.

We started by engaging with our people to really understand what they want and need from their working lives, invested in technology, and focused on changing mindsets and behaviours, moving people from “that won’t work here” to an open mindset that starts with “yes”. There’s much more to do, but we’re proud of our progress.

Agile working 

Client perspective: agile working with Catherine Lenson

We’re having an increasing number of conversations with our clients on agile working and invited Catherine Lenson, Managing Partner and Chief HR Officer at SoftBank Investment Advisers to share her experience and perspective on agile working as a client of the firm.

During the interview, Alex Beidas, Partner in Employment and Incentives London, talks to Catherine about agile working at SoftBank Investment Advisers, role modelling, wellbeing, and how we can make it work for our clients and teams.

Listen to the podcast below 🎧

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