One of London’s oldest and most prestigious law firms is letting lawyers bring their dogs to work amid an increasingly fierce war for top legal talent. Slaughter and May will start letting their lawyers bring their dogs in the office, The Telegraph newspaper reports.
The “magic circle” firm, a term that refers to the capital’s five most famous law firms, will test the new policy by allowing dogs into work once a month, according to the report.
Deborah Finkler, the new managing partner of the company founded in 1889, told the Telegraph: “The benefits of all animals and especially dogs for mental health, morale and stress reduction are widely recognized and I also hope the trial will make for a fun and friendly day.
Dogs will not be allowed in the canteen, meeting rooms or breakout areas, staff have been told.
The move comes as a number of law firms are forced to find new ways to attract and retain top legal talent. A survey of law firms shows that the talent pool is shrinking and that firms could face a bidding war for employees, a MHA report, a national association of accounting and business consulting firms, found. In order to increase staff engagement and retention in a competitive landscape, companies are striving to improve staff well-being, the report says, and competition for staff will intensify this year. A number of large US companies such as Amazon and Google already have dog-friendly office policies.
Amazon complaints that it has accepted dogs since its inception and that at least 8,000 dogs “work” at the online retail giant. “Having dogs in our workplace is an incredible treat. They bring smiles to employees’ faces, and we’re proud that it’s such a unique Amazonian tradition,” one employee said in a post on their website. .
Google also allows staff to bring their dogs to work and rolled out a “Doogler group” in 2020, an online forum and message board for employees and their dogs, according to its website.
Smaller companies also have similar policies, such as Lily’s Kitchen, the London-based premium “natural” pet food maker that was bought by Nestlé in 2020.
Not only does it offer a giant treat jar and doggy doors in meeting rooms, but workers can also take up to three days of “paternity leave” to allow new pet parents to bond with their dog – or cat.
Slaughter and May weren’t immediately available to respond to Insider’s request for comment.