Lockstep…

…the issue of lockstep has reared its head in a proposed merger between Lovells and a US firm in this story in the Lawyer.

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About Richard Moorhead

Director of the Centre for Ethics and Law and Professor of Law and Professional Ethics at the Faculty of Laws, University College London with an interest in teaching and research on the legal ethics, the professions, legal aid, access to justice and the courts.
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2 Responses to Lockstep…

  1. J. Daniel Song says:

    Stressed-out lawyer, 27, dies in late-night fall at Tate Modern
    [http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article1381567.ece]
    As a lawyer at one of the “magic circle” of leading corporate legal firms, Matthew Courtney was expected to work 16 hours a day, seven days a week.
    He hoped that his efforts would eventually be rewarded with a partnership – and a £1 million salary.
    But weeks after Mr Courtney, 27, and other associate lawyers at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer spoke to senior partners about their long hours and stress, he was found dead at Tate Modern, The Times has learnt…

    I read the above article while I was searching an article for first LPE seminar, I was shocked because associate lawyers are expected to work for ’16 hours a day and 7 days a week’.

    Probably, many partners in Lovells have achieved their positions by working many hours like those of other City law firms. However, the security of the partner’s position will be abolished by abandoning a lockstep system. Thus, the partners of Lovells (or Hogan-Lovells) will be afraid of de-equitization, so that they try to maintain their achievements by working more billable hour and enhancing PPP.

    What a sad story! I am afraid of reading another news article in near future, ‘Stressed-out partner dies late-night fall at ______’.

    • lawyerwatch says:

      This kind of story surfaces once or twice a year. There is a body of work which suggests that lawyers are particularly stressed and also that law firms are not good at managing their staff. Altough occasionally firms make it into lists of the best companies to work for in the UK. It has prompted young lawyers to question the desirability of seeking to work themselves into the groupnd in pursuit of partnership. Also some work by Susan Daicoff suggests that lawyers are more psyhcologially prone to certain types of mental health problem because of their personality type and the competitive nature of law school (in the States – would that apply here do we think? In the US there is more emphasis on class rankings than here where the grade is more important than the class ranking) and competitive law firm cultures (more likely to be similar here, I’d say).

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