Global firm Reed Smith today became the latest City business to announce ‘agile’ working, under which lawyers will be free to decide whether to come to the office. Personnel will be allowed to meet their goals 'where, when and how they see fit', London managing partner Andrew Jenkinson said. 

A statement from the firm said the policy follows a consultation with partners and business heads. Under the new regime 'individuals will be able to take a more ad-hoc approach to varying their hours and/or location. The policy will provide a great way to balance the need to deliver excellent client service as part of an effective and collaborative team, and provide individuals with flexibility regarding how they work.'

However all personnel taking advantage of agile working will have to agree with their partner, practice group leader or line manager in advance, the statement said.

Conceding that agile working has limits, the statement said: 'The policy will not apply to those who are undergoing training or require face-to-face supervisory time, or those required to perform on-site facilities roles. Furthermore, agile working will not be appropriate when learning a new role, meeting a client or colleague in person, or when the type of work is of such a confidential nature that it is important to benefit from the security of Reed Smith’s premises.'

'We recognise that while there will be occasions where agile working is not the best solution, with excellent communication and strong judgment, much can be achieved,' Jenkinson said. 

Reed Smith ihas more than 1,700 lawyers in 27 offices in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the United States.