Let's talk about the billable hour webinar

This webinar took place on Thursday 16 May 2024. Please note that we don't record our webinars - but you can sign up for our next webinar which is all about vicarious trauma on Thursday 5 September

The legal sector is striving to be more sustainable, diverse, and inclusive. However, does the billable hour impede this progress?

Bought Billable Hour Cropped V2

In this webinar we explored the pros and cons of the billable hour, its impact on legal culture, its effect on client relationships and mental health, and how it can hinder access and progression within the profession.

We didn't only focus on the well-known challenges; instead, we explored actionable strategies for effecting change. 

Many thanks to our panel: Lloyd Rees chaired the webinar, and he was joined by Mark Blois, Libby Clark (Coreno), and Polly Sweeney.

The panel talked about:
⏰ achieving for the team rather than the individual
⏰ aiming for the 3 wins - a win for the client, a win for the firm, and a win for the working lawyer
⏰ the effect of the billable hour on recruitment and retention
⏰ focus time
⏰ working will allies to build coalitions; particularly with leaders.
⏰ working on the basis of trust
⏰ and much more (please add in anything we've missed in the comments - we covered a lot of ground).

Overall, there was feeling of optimism that things can be different and better in the future.

Libby shared a link to this resource - https://lnkd.in/efnZf7Ss

Meet the panel below

Mark Blois

Partner at Browne Jacobson LLP and a committee member of the Law Society’s Disabled Solicitors’ Network.

Mark is a Partner at Browne Jacobson, a leading national law firm, where he founded and then led the firm’s Education team for twenty years and where he is also a member of the firm’s Partnership Committee. Mark is recommended as a Leader in his field in both Chambers UK & Legal 500, the latter of which includes Mark in their 'Hall of Fame', and he has also been designated as a National Leader of Governance. In 2022 Mark was named in The Lawyer’s ‘Hot 100’ listing and he has also on two occasions been named in the 'Disability Power 100' list, the annual publication recognising the 100 most influential disabled people living and working in the UK.

Mark serves as a Trustee of a number of education sector charities and is a long-standing member of the committee of the Disabled Solicitors’ Network.

Mark Blois

Libby Clark (Coreno)

Chief Operating Officer at Bonacio Companies.

Libby provides counsel and consulting services to individuals, regional businesses, and international corporations in the real estate and construction industries. Libby is also a long-time advocate and speaker on the issue of attorney wellbeing.

Libby formed the first Attorney Wellbeing Subcommittee at the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) and led the Saratoga County Bar Association's Lawyers Assistance Committee. She contributed to the removal of mental health screening questions for New York State bar admission in 2019. In 2020, alongside Dr. Kerry Murray O'Hara PsyD, she launched a pioneering Attorney Wellbeing Podcast for NYSBA and facilitated a Lawyer-to-Lawyer Well-Being Roundtable during the COVID-19 shutdown. Additionally, she co-chaired the NYSBA Attorney Wellbeing Task Force, producing a significant report in 2021.

She has been interviewed by national publications on issues facing lawyers and their wellbeing including law.com, the New York Law Journal, Bloomberg Law, and the American Bar Association's Bar Leader. 

Libby, along with Dr. O'Hara, are nationally recognised speakers and workshop leaders in lawyer wellbeing, specifically advocating for culture change and teaching skills for the rehumanizing of law and its lawyers.  


Polly Sweeney

Founding partner of Rook Irwin Sweeney LLP, a specialist public law and human rights law firm launched in 2020.

Polly specialises in education law, community care, healthcare and medical treatment, and cases in the Court of Protection, and has a particular interest in cases involving children and young people. She was Chair of the Law Society’s Mental Health and Disability Committee from 2019 to 2022, and is a contributing author to the leading Legal Action Group publication – Disabled Children Handbook (2nd and 3rd editions). She regularly provides training to organisations as well as individuals, promoting awareness of legal rights and duties, and has been asked to give oral evidence to a number of parliamentary groups and inquiries. Polly was named “Gazette Legal Personality of the Year” at the Law Society’s Excellence Awards 2020

Polly Sweeney

Lloyd Rees (chair)

Knowledge Lawyer in the Freshfields Global Transactions Knowledge Team and LawCare Champion.

Lloyd has a particular focus on the UK’s exit from the EU (Brexit) and Trade law. Lloyd is a trained Mental Health First Aider and is the founder and Co-Chair of the Freshfields UK Mental Health Affinity Network – the employee-led network dedicated to mental health and wellbeing. He has contributed to many publications on the topic of mental health and the legal profession including The Telegraph, The Lawyer and Legal Cheek. He has also appeared in numerous podcasts, webinars and events speaking about mental health and the legal profession. 

Rees Lloyd 511098