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12 December 2019

CMS adjusts billable hours targets to encourage innovation

Lawyers working on innovation projects can count work towards targets

CMS UK has launched a scheme that allows lawyers to count time working on innovation projects towards their billable hours targets. The firm’s ‘innovation hours’ programme has been incorporated into its performance targets and will be overseen by its innovation team, which is led by head of innovation and legal operations John Craske.

To qualify for the programme ideas must be pre-approved, sponsored and fall within ‘sensible time/cost boundaries’ with projects normally expected to generate no more than 100 hours of time.

The cost of approved projects will be borne by the firm’s central research and development budget.

“We want to build a culture of innovation across CMS that is practical, accessible and valued,” said CMS UK managing partner Stephen Millar.

According to the firm, the idea was submitted to the firm’s ideas-sharing portal #hacks by an associate in the firm’s dispute resolution team.

The #hacks scheme was launched in December last year when incentives to submit ideas included ‘an opportunity for seven people to head to the US West Coast to explore tech, innovation and entrepreneurship’.

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