Counsel who work for the British brewer Bass PLC have more time these days to hoist a pint. Under a little-known experiment in the legal department, lawyers — both in-house and at outside firms — are restricted to ten-hour workdays.

The policy, which applies when it’s appropriate to a given transaction, is an attempt to prevent what Richard Winter, director of group legal affairs at Bass, calls “unnecessary, excessive hours.” And to make his vision a reality, Winter requires that outside counsel submit weekly summaries of the hours worked on Bass matters by every lawyer.

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