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‘Our greatest asset’: Mindful Business Charter gains momentum as Cooley’s City office signs up

With mental health and wellbeing now front and centre among law firm leaders more than ever, Cooley’s London office has become the latest to sign up to the Mindful Business Charter.

Launched in 2018, the charter was devised by banking giant Barclays alongside Pinsent Masons and Addleshaw Goddard in a bid to combat workplace practices that contribute to stress and poor mental health among lawyers. It encourages people to think about being clear in emails on when they need a response if sent outside business hours and not expecting people on annual leave to be on call.

Cooley joins a cohort of law firms that have identified this mental health initiative as a business priority. Aside from the founding members, other signatories include Allen & Overy, Ashurst, Baker McKenzie, BCLP, Burness Paull, Capsticks, Clifford Chance, CMS, DAC Beachcroft, Dentons, DLA Piper, DWF, Eversheds Sutherland, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith Freehills, HFW, Hogan Lovells, Irwin Mitchell, Linklaters, Matheson, Michelmores, Mills & Reeve, Morton Fraser, Norton Rose Fulbright, Osborne Clarke, Paul Hastings, Radiant Law, RPC, Shoosmiths, Simmons & Simmons, Squire Patton Boggs, TLT, Travers Smith, Ward Hadaway, Weightmans and Womble Bond Dickinson.

UK mental health charity Mind, the City Mental Health Alliance, the International Bar Association, the Law Societies of England and Wales and of Scotland, LawCare and the Solicitors Regulation Authority all support the initiative.

Natasha Kaye, a partner in Cooley’s London office, said: ‘This year has been incredibly trying in myriad ways, and it’s more important than ever that we act on our shared responsibility to ensure the wellness of our greatest asset – our people. We’re putting pen to paper on removing unnecessary stresses that hinder performance and gradually, yet significantly, impact well-being.’

The four key pillars of the charter are: openness and respect; smart meetings and emails; respecting rest periods; and mindful delegation.

In 2018, Cooley joined the inaugural class of the American Bar Association’s Wellness Pledge, signing on to implement a seven-point plan aimed at changing the landscape of the legal profession through education, policies and culture.

For more on the charter, see ‘No alarms and no surprises – Behind the Mindful Business Charter’ (£).