An Inclusivity Unlocked! webinar
Monday 27 March 2023
12.30 – 1.30 pm
Long hours. Billing targets. Managers and clients who seem to work 24/7. We know none of this is good for our mental wellbeing.
But does it have to be that way? And why do we need to change?
This joint webinar from IP Inclusive and LawCare was another event in our Inclusivity Unlocked! series. It aimed to help IP sector employers and managers think more creatively about working practices and culture, so as to tackle our increasing mental health problems whilst also reaping the benefits of what we learned during lockdown.
We drew on the SRA’s 2022 Workplace Culture Thematic Review and its associated guidance (see for example its “Workplace environment: risks of failing to protect and support colleagues” guidance), as well as the WHO guidelines on mental health at work. We reviewed the drivers for change: recruitment and retention, productivity, risk management and regulatory compliance. And based on their own practical experiences, our panellists explored issues such as working hours, billing targets and work-life boundaries, and overall best practices for reducing the stress that can otherwise thwart us in the IP professions.
We asked, among other things:
- Could a 4-day working week be more productive overall?
- What role do leaders and managers play in creating a more supportive – and sustainable – working culture?
- Where can we look for ideas, resources and evidence?
- How is regulation helping to drive improvements?
- And what’s the business case for such changes to our time-honoured working practices?
We were delighted to welcome five expert panellists, all of them passionate advocates for mental wellbeing in the legal sector:
- Jessica Clay, a partner at Kingsley Napley, who specialises in legal services regulation
- Maurece Hutchinson, Personal Injury Solicitor and Managing Director of JMK Solicitors (one of the first employers in Northern Ireland to implement a 4-day week for all employees with no reduction in pay)
- Elizabeth Rimmer, Chief Executive, LawCare
- Lucinda Soon, a professional ethics and regulatory lawyer at Kingsley Napley, LawCare Trustee and organisational psychology researcher, whose research focuses on the work environment and wellbeing of lawyers
- Polly Sweeney, Public Law and Human Rights Partner at Rook Irwin Sweeney LLP (a firm established post-lockdown with a strong mental wellbeing ethic – and without individual billing targets: see https://www.lawcare.org.uk/get-information/videos/balancing-wellbeing-and-client-needs-rook-irwin-sweeney/)
The webinar was chaired by IP Inclusive Lead Executive Officer and LawCare Champion Andrea Brewster OBE.
Who was it for?
This event was open to all UK-based IP professionals. It didn’t matter what type of organisation you worked in, what role you played in it or what your career level; everyone was welcome! The discussions were likely to be of particular value to those involved in leadership, management, training and HR roles.
Click on the images below to download the “top tips” distilled from this event.
A list of all Inclusivity Unlocked! events and resources is available here, and a compilation of the “top tips” here. If you’d like to have your say on themes or formats for future events in the series, please let us know by emailing [email protected].
This event was free. So are all our resources. We think it’s important to keep IP Inclusive on the right side of the paywall.
That said, we do need money to keep the show on the road, so if you enjoyed the event, please consider contributing to our 2022-23 fundraising campaign. For more information – including about corporate donations – visit our fundraising page.
More about Inclusivity Unlocked!
Inclusivity Unlocked! is a banner under which we are hosting a programme of events and resources on workplace inclusivity post-Covid. Our aim is to provide practical guidance around how workplaces and working arrangements can be made more inclusive for everyone as we build back after the pandemic. You can find out more about the project here. There’s also an up-to-date list of scheduled and past events, with links to associated follow-up resources, here.