It's time to scrap "outdated" annual reviews says global firm CEO

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Hogan Lovells has replaced its annual review process with a new program to modernize associate career development.

The Pathways program, which was piloted at some offices last year, will empower the firm’s associates to continuously seek and provide feedback to enhance their skill development. It’s in response to the firm’s global lawyers saying that they were not getting enough meaningful or timely feedback in their annual review.

“We know that effective conversations and feedback are at the core of our culture and are a key component of being a successful business and a great place to work,” said Hogan Lovells CEO Steve Immelt. “Much of the legal industry focuses on the annual performance review. It’s time to break that outdated and irrelevant mold and move on to provide the information that people really need to hear throughout the year – what am I doing well, where can I grow, what is my career path.”

Lawyers will now get feedback as often as they need during the year. As well as already covering the firm’s lawyers globally, the Pathways program will be rolled out to business services during 2019.

Second global services centre for Reed Smith

Reed Smith will be launching a global service centre to support its teams in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, 15 years after its Global Customer Center opened in the US.

The billion-dollar startup, Reed Smith Global Solutions, will be based in Leeds, UK and will open in July 2018.  

“Reed Smith Global Solutions represents our commitment to the evolution of our working practices and to delivering high quality services, which are essential for the firm to remain competitive in today’s crowded marketplace”, said Tamara Box, managing partner Europe & Middle East.

The unit will include a legal offering – which will will see the creation of a Records & E-Discovery practice - as well as business services.

New Zealand Law Society launches gender equality charter

A new charter has been launched by the New Zealand Law Society to address the barriers to women achieving senior positions in the legal profession.

The charter was launched in the New Zealand parliament last week and is a set of commitments aimed at improving the retention and advancement of women in law.

“Women accounting for half of those practising law is something we’ve waited for over some time but women are still not properly represented in leadership roles such as in law firm partnership, directorship, Queen’s Counsel. Women are leaving the profession because of the lack of recognition. We have the talent pipeline but it’s leaking,” says New Zealand Law Society President Kathryn Beck.

Currently women make up just 31% of partners and directors in law firms with more than one practitioner.

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