Law firm partner workloads increase as remote working makes it more difficult to delegate to juniors and trainees, survey finds

Many outfits report rise in chargeable hours, particularly at senior ranges

Companions labored up to 10% tougher this 12 months as remote working made it more difficult to delegate to remote working juniors and trainees, a survey has discovered.

The PwC Law Firms’ Survey 2021, masking 100 UK-headquartered mega-firms, reveals that many are experiencing an surprising growth. Fears of a Covid crash by no means got here to go, with 97% doing higher on income and revenue than they’d predicted in 2020. Many are having fun with “record profits”.

Graph by way of PwC Law Companies’ Survey 2021

A few of that is due to companions working tougher. Many companies reported an increase in common chargeable hours, particularly at partner degree. The report means that’s as a result of they weren’t ready to palm work off on their subordinates as simply.

“[T]his perhaps reflects an attitude among partners to delegate less work in the lockdown environment as non-chargeable activity (e.g. business development) was reduced, and delegation proved more complex in a remote working environment,” it states.

On the 25 largest companies, companions unable to escape their laptop to glad-handle potential shoppers elevated their chargeable hours by 8-10% on common.

Companies reportedly dealt with the transition to remote working “very well”, and don’t intend to return. Most respondents mentioned they anticipated workers to work remotely 40-60% of the time, and “many firms are expecting to reduce their office footprints”.

Workforce challenges loom, although. Bosses fear about “talent attraction and retention”, particularly given the “relentless pressure on salaries being generated by US firms”.

The survey additionally covers range. The proportion of ethnic minority companions inched up a bit, however “the pace of change continues to be of concern”, in accordance to PwC. Feminine partner illustration has “plateaued” exterior the highest 10 companies surveyed.

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