City scape

Hours

7.6 / 10

(based on 11 ratings in 2017)

2017

"This can vary between teams. My current team works, on average, from 9.00 am to 6.15 pm with a short lunch break. In previous teams I stayed later as that was what everyone else was doing. Overall, the hours are pretty good."
Basingstoke
"This issue with the hours as that it's very varied. Some days I may leave at 5.30 pm while on others it may be more like 10.30 pm, which can be frustrating if you've made plans. That said, compared to some horror stories I've heard, we have it pretty good here."
London
"Hours tend to vary depending on how busy the team is and whether it is a transactional or contentious seat. The hours are longer and more unpredictable in contentious seats (8.45 am to 7.00 pm or later) but they're more consistent in non-contentious seats (9.00 am to 6.00 pm)."
London
"The hours are good in general and there is no culture of sitting at your desk until 8.00 pm just for the sake of it. If you've finished your work then you're encouraged to go home."
London
"Working hours appear to be flexible to the extent that you are not expected to be in the office very early or very late. However, the team I am in at the moment is particularly busy and we all tend to finish approximately two and a half hours after I'm contracted to. That said, if I need to leave on time then there has never been an issue with it. As long as you get your work done to a high standard then no one bats an eyelid if you leave at 5.00 pm. So far there does not seem to be that 'face-time culture' you hear about at other firms."
Basingstoke
"It's pretty flexible. Hours are good at the moment but this varies from seat to seat. There's no agile working policy as yet but supervisors are understanding about providing some flexibility in terms of appointments etc."
Basingstoke
"The firm is great in terms of hours and maintaining a work/life balance. This does vary between teams and, of course, you sometimes have to put in the hours if you are working on a big matter. On the whole, people are very understanding about commitments outside of work."
London

2016

"I usually get to the office at 8.30 am and leave at 5.30 pm. The firm is very flexible."
First year trainee, Oxford
"I work 9.00 am – 6.30 pm/7.00 pm. Most of the office clears out by 6.30 pm unless a case is on, but there's always more work than hours in the day."
First year trainee, London
"The work/life balance is great. Trainees aren't judged for leaving at 6.00 pm or coming in at 9.30 am."
Second year trainee, London
"They are very flexible so long as your chargeable hours are hitting their targets."
First year trainee, Cambridge
"They're really good about holiday or necessary doctor's appointments etc. Though the hours are long."
Second year trainee, Surrey
"There is no face-time culture here when it comes to hours. I regularly start work at 9.30 am and finish around 6.00 pm. If my workload is higher then I will stay later – 9.00 pm is the latest I have stayed so far and I was the only person left on the entire floor then apart from the cleaner. There is very much an attitude towards trainees that we shouldn't take on more than we can handle and, when delegating work, partners and associates seem to be very mindful of that – they will always ask what else you have on and if you have enough time to assist them before giving you work."
First year trainee, London
"There has never been an occasion where I have needed to stay late. Family life is well understood and flexible working is provided for if needed."
First year trainee, Guildford
"As long as your chargeable time is good and your work is done then you do not need to stay in the office for purposes of face-time."
First year trainee, Cambridge

2015

"We have a very healthy work/life balance at the firm. I have frequently been told to head home, which is in stark contrast to the experiences of many friends at other firms."
Second year trainee, London
"The firm is flexible with hours. Certainly in the offices I have worked in, you are not expected to stay late for the sake of it. There are of course busy periods where you may need to stay later, but these are offset with being able to leave the office at a good time when you are not so busy."
First year trainee, Basingstoke
"I have had to stay late on a few occasions without notice, but the working hours are generally very good - rarely work past 6:30pm."
First year trainee, Oxford
"The working hours vary between departments and teams. Generally speaking the firm has a very good culture in relation to working hours - you should be in the office however long you need to be there to get the work done, but there is no need to stay late for the sake of appearances."
First year trainee, London
"In Private Client I was working 8:30am to 5:30pm as standard. In Corporate I start at 9:00am and have usually left the office by 6:30pm, although I have had to pull a few later evenings (the latest only being 10:00pm). They are extremely flexible, particularly for parents, who are able to schedule their hours around their children."
First year trainee, Guildford
"If you need to leave at 5:00pm and you have a good reason then they are happy for you to go. As a trainee there isn't a massive emphasis on chargeable targets but they do like to make sure you are filling your time with something productive."
Second year trainee, Guildford

2014

"The firm is very flexible with hours. If you are not busy then they do not expect you to stay in the office for appearances. When busy you will be expected to stay slightly later, but I believe this is one of the best firms for work/life balance, which is actively encouraged."
First year trainee, Reading
"There isn't a 'stay late' culture but if there's urgent work to be done I choose to stay. We are expected to be in the office by 9:00am and stay until at least 5:30pm."
Second year trainee, Oxford
"I normally get in at 8:30am but no one would complain if I didn't get in until 9:00am. I leave at 5:45pm, but again, no one has a stopwatch on you. I know several people that get in from 7:30am but they leave earlier."
Second year trainee, Guildford
"Hours are not hugely flexible, but they are not bad by any means."
Second year trainee, Oxford
"Working hours are usually 8:30am to 6:30pm, but can be later if an urgent matter comes up. However, they are very accommodating if you need to leave early for appointments or previous commitments."
First year trainee, Guildford

2013

"If there is work to do, you want to stay and finish it. But if work is completed everyone will be discouraged from staying just for the sake of it or to keep up appearances."
First year trainee, Guildford
"The work/life balance at the firm is very good. Typically my working hours are 9:00am-6:00pm."
Second year trainee, Basingstoke
"The work/life balance is the best I have heard of in the sector. I am typically in the office from 8:30am-5:30pm, though obviously work longer hours when there is urgent work to be done. I almost always take my full lunch break. There is no pressure to work outside of the 9-5 contracted hours if there is no urgent work outstanding. My partner is happy for me to work from home where appropriate and does not check up on me if I am out of the office at a client meeting or a training session. His view is that as long as I'm not embarrassingly under my target, and clients aren't complaining about work being turned around slowly, there is no issue."
Newly qualified solicitor, Basingstoke
"Cannot complain about the hours - typical day is 9:00am-6:00pm."
Second year trainee, London
"I generally work from 9:00am till 6:00pm with an hour for lunch. If busy, I will stay till around 7:00pm but have never needed to stay later."
Second year trainee, Basingstoke
"My average working day is 9:30am to 6:15pm with half an hour for lunch. This can vary to a large degree however, when case loads are high, etc."
Second year trainee, London
Our 'Inside Buzz' reviews are the comments and views of recent graduate recruits, giving you a view of what it may be like to work for an organisation. Copyright of all TARGETjobs Inside Buzz material lies solely with GTI Media.
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