Are lawyers working well?

It is hard to imagine any lawyer working wholly in isolation. In fact, their working environment means that they must often navigate a particularly complex set of relationships. For in-house lawyers, dealing with different divisions or groups within your organisation, advising individuals, working with colleagues, leading teams and managing support staff are all part of daily life. While who you work with and how you do it will differ, the reality is that working with others is an important part of being a legal professional.

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REUTERS | David Mdzinarishvili

Episode 106 of the Hearing is now available.

In this episode, Becky explores the unique role the monarch plays in British government, and considers what changes may come now that King Charles III has ascended to the throne following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

Becky talks to Sir Jonathan Jones KC, a consultant in constitutional law at Linklaters, and Robert Hazell, a professor of government and the constitution at University College London. They discuss the formal and informal powers the UK monarch has to influence legislation, and how Queen Elizabeth approached the role during her historic reign.

What powers does the monarch really have? And which limits on the monarchy are based on convention rather than the constitution?


The Thomson Reuters Institute has published the 2022 edition of the Legal Department Operations (LDO) Index report. The data in the report includes real-world legal spend analytics gathered from Thomson Reuters’ Legal Tracker and sourced from 1,500 corporate law departments. It is complemented by responses from 107 law departments to a Thomson Reuters survey conducted in August and September 2022.

The report suggests that areas such as outside spending, technology adoption, in-house legal operations, and environmental, social and governance (ESG) and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives were top of mind for many respondents.

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REUTERS | Grigory Dukor

Practical Law has published a report on the key trends from the 2022 reporting and AGM season. The report considers, among other things, the format of AGMs over the past year, workforce engagement methods, diversity on boards and shareholder and board-proposed climate resolutions. It also contains a section on trends within the AIM UK 50, as well as contributions by Marks and Spencer Group PLC on the benefits of a fully digitally-enabled AGM and the FRC on its review of corporate governance reporting.

The report is based on a review of the notices of AGM and annual reports of 268 FTSE 350 premium listed commercial companies and 51 AIM companies, summaries of which can be accessed from What’s Market: AGMs: FTSE 350: 2022 and What’s Market: AGMs: AIM 50: 2022.

Key highlights from the report include:

  • Nearly 75% of companies held a physical meeting this year. Only five companies conducted fully virtual AGMs.
  • As at 14 October 2022, 84 FTSE 100 companies had achieved at least 33% female representation on their boards and, of these, 57 companies had 40% or more female representation at board level.
  • 176 companies (80 FTSE 100 and 96 FTSE 250) disclosed in their annual report that their board comprises at least one director from a non-white ethnically diverse background.
  • 17 FTSE 350 companies tabled climate-related resolutions at their 2022 AGM. Of the 20 resolutions tabled, 17 were board-proposed and three were requisitioned by shareholders.
  • The boards of the AIM UK 50 companies comprise 20% women.

Source: Annual reporting and AGMs 2022: What’s Market practice?

REUTERS | Global Creative Services (no copyright)

Today, the Timewise Innovation Unit publishes its annual look at what proportion of UK jobs are advertised with flexible and part-time working options.

The report looks to capture any options that deviate from the nine to five, five-days-a-week pre-pandemic “norm”. To produce it, Timewise scrutinised six million UK job ads for one of 19 terms, including “part-time”, “three-day week”, “four-day week”, “open to job share”, “term-time only roles”, “some or all remote working” and “flexible shifts”.

This year’s figures show that there are four people chasing every part-time job, which contrasts with a record high of 1.3 million full-time roles open earlier this year. Legal jobs offer among the fewest part-time working opportunities in the UK; just 31% of jobs in the legal profession are advertised as flexible, and 6% as part time, despite flexible roles being in high demand.

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REUTERS | Bees are seen on the frame of a hive in a village of Ripanj near Belgrade, Serbia, April 9, 2019. Picture taken April 9, 2019. REUTERS/Marko Djurica - RC1799744470

On behalf of the Practical Law Future Forum Steering Committee, we would like to invite you to participate in a meeting on the topic of networking for early-career in-house lawyers, at 1300-1400 on Tuesday 6 December via Teams webinar.

The meeting will feature presentations from Alisa Grafton (partner at De Pinna Notaries and author of Great Networking: The Art and Practice of Building Authentic Professional Relationships) and Andre Brown, Senior Commissioning Editor at Practical Law.

Topics covered will include:

  • Developing your networking goals and mindset.
  • Strategic, but authentic, networking.
  • Practical aspects of face-to-face and virtual networking.

There will be an opportunity to put questions to our speakers at the end of the session.

Follow this link for more details, and to register.

We hope to see you there!

REUTERS | Luke MacGregor

Businesses are increasingly seeking to impose specific contractual requirements on their suppliers in relation to climate change and other environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters.

Practical Law has published an article outlining possible steps to help suppliers review, assess and respond to customer requests for bespoke climate change and other ESG clauses in contract negotiations.

Steps are considered by reference to a mock scenario and example clauses, to illustrate how they might apply in practice.

REUTERS | Henry Romero

Episode 105 of the Hearing is now available.

In this episode, Yasmin chats to Ranjit Sond, President of the UK’s Society of Asian Lawyers. Ranjit is a former personal injury lawyer and now works for the Government Legal Department. In this conversation, he talks candidly about his career and the motivations behind the decisions he’s made to shape it.

In his role as President for the Society of Asian Lawyers, Ranjit’s focus includes helping to foster more diverse talent in the profession. He’s also working hard to address the problem of sexual abuse and harassment within the industry.