Morning Briefing: International law firm claims best parental leave policy

Law firm chief reveals radical changes to parental leave policy… Barristers under pressure; a third are ‘disengaged’… First UK firm plans to follow Slater & Gordon model… Baker & McKenzie member firm strengthens Indonesia corporate team…

International law firm claims best parental leave policy
International firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has revised its parental leave policy. The firm’s chief executive and chairman Mitch Zuklie has explained why in an article he wrote for The number of female partners at US law firms is just 17 per cent despite women making up 47 per cent of law school graduates. Just 21 per cent of the general counsel at Fortune 500 firms are women. Zuklie says that in order to attract more women to the firm it is increasing parental leave by four weeks paid and two months unpaid, making a total of 22 weeks. Orrick believes that is the leading policy in America’s large law firms. It has also implemented increased flexible working programs. 
Barristers under pressure; a third are ‘disengaged’
A new report shows that a third of barristers are disengaged from their work and puts the profession at risk. The UK’s Bar Council survey had 2456 respondents from the employed and self-employed bar and found that barristers generally receive support from others in their Chambers which has a positive impact on wellbeing. Workplace fairness and the ability to learn and be challenged received positive responses.   However disengagement reported by a third is a concern for the profession.
A lack of autonomy and reduced sense of status was reported by employed barristers relative to their self-employed counterparts. However within the self-employed bar half were disengaged. Key issues for both groups include difficulty achieving work-life balance; stress and the stigma in the workplace about admitting to it; lack of quality sleep and difficulty in taking breaks during the day; and for self-employed concern over fees and cash flow. The full report is available at the UK’s Bar Council website.
First UK firm plans to follow Slater & Gordon model
It was in 2007 that Australia’s Slater & Gordon became the first law firm in the world to become a publicly traded company and in that same year the Legal Services Act came into force allowing UK law firms to do the same. However, despite London being home to some of the world’s leading law firms none has done so, until now. According to a report in The Sunday Times law firm Gateley has appointed bankers to advise on an IPO this year. Although technically an international law firm Gateley has just one office outside the UK, in Dubai.
Baker & McKenzie member firm strengthens Indonesia corporate team
Hadiputranto, Hadinoto & Partners, the member firm of Baker & McKenzie in Indonesia, has strengthened its corporate & securities practice with the return of Mita Djajadiredja as partner. She has more than twenty years of experience and is a HHP alumnus.

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