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Four-day week has boosted turnover –  law firm boss
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09 Oct 2023 / employment Print

Four-day week boosts turnover – law boss

The owner of a law firm in England has told a legal conference that switching to a four-day week has boosted turnover by 22%.

Marcin Durlak, managing partner of Manchester-based IMD Solicitors, said that the change, initiated at the end of last year, had been a success, based on the first six months’ results.

He told the Lawshare annual conference in Manchester that the move to a four-day week – with staff still paid a full salary – had increased productivity and improved wellbeing, as well as acting as an important draw in recently recruiting a solicitor from a City firm in London

‘Right culture’

The Law Society Gazette of England and Wales quoted Durlak as saying: “It is not about cramming 47 hours into four days, it is about the way we work.

“In the day [previously] there will be 20% of time that produces no benefit. On top of that you can use AI tools to save time and achieve the same or more in less time.”

Durlak, joint founder of the 35-strong business, compared the current debate to the same discussions in the 19th century about introducing a two-day weekend.

"For firms making this step now they will be ahead of the competition," he added. "It is really down to the people and having the right culture. If people need to stay a bit later or do something on their day off they will, but we try to protect it.”

Earlier this year, IMD co-founder Iwona Durlak said that clients had not noticed the change, and that the level of service had remained consistent.

She explained that all staff chose which day they would like off work, and the firm made sure that these did not overlap. If an urgent court date came up, the partners involved would switch their non-working days if there was a clash.


The Gazette said, however, that the idea of a four-day week continued to be viewed sceptically by some in the legal profession.

At the same conference, Bobby Ahmed (employment-law solicitor and the managing partner of London firm Neathouse Partners) said that the four-day week might be possible for litigation firms, but suggested that in his sector – where clients might require an adviser at any time, day or night – it could not be applied.

“The problem with our service would be we offer lawyers readily available in cases of emergency,” he said. “If there is a serious issue people need to contact their lawyer.”

James Maxey, chief executive of personal-injury firm Express Solicitors, was doubtful about the likelihood that productivity would increase, arguing that lawyers were already filling their existing days.


Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland