In-house lawyers traditionally saw a more flexible schedule than that of their private practice peers, however times appear to be changing.
Lawyers working in-house are seeing a rise in responsibilities and expectations, which can create difficulties with non-9 till 5 routines. On the other side of the coin private practice firms are now recognising the importance of flexible working hours, an example is Addleshaw Goddard's plan to move to a new, smaller office in Manchester, with Partner Malcolm Pike saying:
"Our people want flexible working, whether that's working from home, from clients or from our other offices. You just don't need the same amount of space nowadays."
It will be interesting to see if eventually the perceived work-life balance advantages of in-house over private practice are reduced or even completely removed.
In June 2014 the government extended flexible working rights to more than 20 million employees across the UK in a policy shift that recognised the traditional nine-to-five routine no longer dominates British workplaces. But if such attitudes are relatively new to much of the economy, lawyers in in-house roles – traditionally a more progressive environment than private practice – have long put a premium on agile working.