Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP

​​​​​​​​​​​As a leading law firm which has won international recognition, Rajah & Tann attributes its reputation and successes to the high quality talent that forms the team. In an industry where retaining good talent is an on-going HR challenge, this firm has created a sustainable work-life strategy that successfully attracts and retains high performing employees. Offering flexible work arrangements (FWAs), has also enabled the firm to expand its range of business solutions for clients who require cost-effective professional services on a short-term or project basis.

Facts in a Flash

Industry Industry: Professional, Scientific & Technical Activities

Employment size Employment size: Above 600

Employment profile Employment profile: Legal professionals and administrative staff

Employment profile Featured work-life programmes:

Flexible Work Arrangements​​​​
  • Telecommuting
  • Part-time work
  • Work-from-home
Employee support schemes 
  • Buddy Programme (a formalised process, and integrated in the leave application system to ensure efficiency, every support staff is assigned a buddy who will cover their duties when they take time-off)
  • Travel Smart Programme (complementing FWAs offered, the firm supports LTA’s programme in encouraging employees to utilise free Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) travel during off-peak hours. Employees are also provided with free breakfast, milk and fruits on stipulated days to incentivise them to use the scheme.)
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Business Case

Rajah &​​ Tann Singapore LLP (Rajah & Tann) is a full-service commercial law firm, and one of the earliest local employers to adopt work-life practices in Singapore. In an industry where high turnover is a HR challenge, the firm believes that creating a sustainable work-life strategy that enables employees to achieve fulfilment in their personal lives as well as careers, is vital to successfully attract and retain high performing employees. The firm’s earliest foray into flexible working arrangements was to help retain the firm’s female lawyers as they embarked on a new life stage of parenthood. Over the years, Rajah & Tann has expanded the types of FWAs offered, to include work-from-home, telecommuting and part-time work options, keeping its overall work-life strategy relevant to employees and meeting their needs at different life stages.

Success Factors

1. Organisational Leadership Strategies

At Rajah & Tann, the HR team serves a strategic role as a bridge between the leadership and the employees. Thus, HR has been given the mandate to help develop sustainable policies and initiatives that have a long-term positive impact for the firm. It also has the autonomy to work closely with Partners to propose swift solutions to address personnel challenges that are unique to a specific team. Various innovative initiatives have been devised as a result, including the Buddy Programme and training to build a cohesive team culture and increase service excellence.

2. Organisational Work-life Strategy

At Rajah & Tann, the leadership recognises that in order for work-life practices and policies to be truly sustainable over the long term, they must meet not only the needs of employees, but those of the business as well. Thus, FWAs and other work-life initiatives such as LTA’s Travel Smart programme, are planned and implemented with the aim of ensuring greater work efficiency and business continuity – resulting in service excellence for their clients.

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With FWAs, Rajah & Tann has been able to expand its range of business solutions for clients. Rajah & ​Tann Asia Resources was established in order to offer customised solutions for clients who require legal services on a short-term or project basis. The firm taps on a pool of experienced legal professionals who prefer to work on a short-term basis, and matches them to clients, as a cost-effective business solution.

3. Information Management Strategies

The firm has a comprehensive communication strategy that has helped to embed a positive work-life culture across the organisation. Work-life awards and posters announcing these wins are prominently placed in high traffic areas within the offices, and regular newsletters and pictures of employees participating in work-life initiatives have helped to create greater awareness and utilisation of these programmes. This structured approach to publicising work-life news and successes have also helped to secure leadership support for further work-life efforts.

Promising Outcomes

Employees at Rajah &​ Tann are highly motivated by the supportive and friendly work culture, and feel assured that the leadership is open to designing flexible work solutions to meet their unique needs, as long as business objectives are met. Thus the team continues to aim for performance excellence on the work front, and the firm has gained international recognition as an innovative and effective law firm for its clients. In 2016, Rajah & Tann ​was recognised as “Most Innovative Law Firm in ASEAN” at the Financial Times Asia Pacific Innovative Lawyers Awards. In 2013 and 2015, Rajah & Tann clinched the “Singapore National Law Firm of the Year accolade at Chambers Asia Pacific Awards for Excellence.

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