Flexibility and inclusivity are key to our culture at HF and recently Steven Smart, Partner & Head of Scotland, had the opportunity to share insights into the success of our approach to flexible working with Flexibility Works, a leading organisation in Scotland promoting flexible working practices.  

Steven highlighted the positive impact flexible, hybrid working has on our operations and culture. As leaders in the field, we’re pleased to share our successful experience. We believe flexible working has helped create a more diverse, inclusive and dynamic work environment which helps drive business growth and improve the engagement of our people.  

Everyone at HF, regardless of their location, can benefit from flexible working arrangements. Whether it’s part-time hours, adjustments during school holidays, weekend work, compressed schedules, or modified start and finish times, we provide a range of options to support our employees in achieving their professional and personal goals. 

“Offering flexible working gives our people a better work life balance but it makes good business sense for us too. We advertise roles as flexible and I can see from the applicants we’re getting that both the volume and quality has improved. Our new recruits often say that our culture and ways of working were part of their motivation in joining us, sometimes even when they’d been offered very attractive roles elsewhere.  

We’ve been actively building a pipeline of female talent within our organisation for some years, and a key element of this has been our flexible offer, together with additional support during maternity leave to encourage and support women to stay with us and progress. We’ve seen women promoted at all levels of the organisation, and the number of women partners has increased significantly. These talented, experienced lawyers help us better represent our clients and drive our continued business success.” – Steven Smart

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion extends beyond recruitment. Through initiatives including flexible working options and additional support during maternity leave, we’ve seen a steady increase in the number of women occupying leadership positions at all levels, and our focus on improving continues. 

This year women represented 58% of promotions to Associate, 64% of Senior Associates, 33% of Associate Partners and 33% of Partners. The number of female partners has increased year-on-year since 2021. 

Our commitment to improving diversity of talent through social mobility is supported by our successful legal apprenticeship scheme, run in conjunction with BPP. Last year alone, we welcomed 30 legal apprentices across the UK &Ireland, giving us a total of 70 apprentices across the organisation.  

Our commitment to flexible working practices and social mobility helps drive a rich and diverse pool of talent. We develop our people and promote from within, with several of our senior leadership team having come into law from non traditional backgrounds. We’ll continue that focus and keep improving – we’re people, not just lawyers.  

To read the full article featuring Steven’s insights on HF’s approach to flexible working in Scotland and its impact click here.