What does a ‘HCR Flex’ day look like for us and our clients? Daniel De Saulles, an associate in our commercial team, provides us with a detailed account.
07:15 – My HCR Flex day is provided on-site at the client’s head office in Gloucester. I have been seconded to this particular client for over two years now. Usually during my commute, I use the time to listen to current podcasts or webinars. I find that this use of time really helps focus my mind on the topical issues affecting businesses generally and it ensures that I am up to date on developments.
08:00 – I arrive on-site and usually I am instantly approached to deal with a legal issue that has arisen during the course of the week. The great benefit of being able to supply on-site legal services is the efficiency of face-to-face meetings. It saves time and provides real value to the client’s everyday issues. More often than not, I am able to help solve the problem immediately.
Whatever the issue or area of law, I can always call on the help of my colleagues at HCR to assist with any niche problems. With a firm of over 800 staff across 11 offices, there is always someone with the relevant experience to assist.
09:15 – 12:30 – I filter through emails, prioritising the mixture of urgent and non-urgent messages. If there are any need clarification, I speak directly to the sales team on the open-plan floor. I then crack on with my tasks, a mixture of all things commercial, ranging from reviewing terms and conditions to advising on the process and next steps of a data breach. Being seconded on-site to a client really helps focus the mind on the commercial elements of any contract. I most enjoy (as I have done over the last two years) getting to know what values and issues the client prioritises over those less concerning legal issues. I can then focus my time and energy on getting those vital points included and agreed.
13:00 – 14:00 – Every fortnight or so, I provide a ‘lunch and learn’ session for the sales team on a variety of different legal issues which arise in contracts. This is included as part of the HCR Flex arrangements and topics vary from ‘red flags’ in contracts to discussing TUPE and liability issues. These sessions help with problem-spotting and also help to further the sales team’s knowledge of commercial contracts.
When we don’t have a lunch and learn, the sales team and I head down to the canteen for lunch. The food choice is always first class and it’s great to mingle with other teams and individuals who I may not directly be working with that day. Rest assured, if they see me and have a legal question, they don’t hesitate to ask!
14:00 – 16:30 – I usually meet with the managers in the afternoon to catch up generally on the tasks for the day and also to sit in with them in meetings (I’m not sure why, but most meetings seem to happen in the afternoon!). It gives me the chance to advise on the spot as issues arise.
17:00 – 17:30 – My day usually finishes around now but I always keep 15 minutes or so spare in case there are any queries that need to be dealt with, given that I am not back on-site until the following week. This is also a useful time to catch-up with some of the sales team about general issues such as any upcoming events.
At the end of the day, I complete my work log of all matters I have been involved in. For a ‘typical’ HCR Flex day, this can range from a total of 6 – 8 contract reviews and one or two new contracts being drafted (wedged in between client calls and meetings). Just as soon as I arrive, it is time to go and look forward to the next week when I am back on site.
Across our commercial team, we have eight HCR Flex secondments. These are a mixture of virtual and on-site secondments. Most members of our team are engaged in some kind of HCR Flex secondment and these range from one, two, or even five days a week, depending on client demand.