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Walker Morris announces ground-breaking sabbatical scheme for lawyers

Leading law firm, Walker Morris, has today announced the launch of its new, industry leading sabbatical scheme. All of its solicitors from Associate to Director level with more than two years of service will be eligible for up to four weeks paid leave in addition to their annual holiday entitlement.

Business people discussing the sabbatical scheme

The landmark programme aims to promote a healthy work life balance within Walker Morris’ workforce, acknowledging the industry-wide pressures of consistent, long and anti-social hours. The scheme reinforces the firm’s wider strategy of investing in talent and ultimately aims to give its lawyers access to a more sustainable, long term career, handling exposure to top flight City-quality work.

A sabbatical can be taken by any of Walker Morris’ employed, qualified solicitors from Associate to Director level after building up a defined period of service post-qualification from 1 November 2021.

Solicitors may elect for a two or three year scheme whereby those with two years’ service are entitled to a two week sabbatical and those with three years’ can take four weeks. Employees can extend their sabbatical by using two weeks of holiday entitlement, and while the scheme is intended to provide solicitors with a longer break, it has been engineered so that time can be taken in shorter chunks over three years, effectively as extra holiday.

More than 160 staff at Walker Morris are eligible to take up the incentive.

Malcolm Simpson, Managing Partner at Walker Morris, commented:

“Throughout 2020 and 2021 we have been especially keen to understand our employees’ working preferences so that we may continue to develop a culture that provides valuable careers and acknowledges the importance of a good work life balance.  

“Law is a rewarding and fulfilling career, which is why we joined the profession. But it is often hard work. We want our lawyers to build a long-term career at Walker Morris and it’s important that careers here are balanced with life outside of work, keeping in mind our employees’ health and wellbeing.

“Our new sabbatical scheme demonstrates our commitment to our staff, aiming to prevent the over exertion which has become endemic within our profession and providing a supportive environment for career development which, in turn, will benefit our clients long term.

“Indeed, the success of our firm is because of our people, with their fresh approach, ambition, and entrepreneurial spirit and we are confident that this unique benefit will see our people continuing to deliver an outstanding level of service to our clients every day.”

Walker Morris is the pre-eminent, single site firm outside of London and has followed a unique strategy of investing in the full spectrum of commercial legal expertise, including specialist practice areas such as competition law, financial services and consumer finance which, typically, are reserved for City firms. Walker Morris works national and international businesses, with a fifth of its client base headquartered overseas.