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A string of law firms including Clifford Chance, Slaughter and May and Weil Gotshal & Manges have held preliminary talks with an in-house child care consultancy firm.First Class Child Care (FCCC), which already provides a nanny finding service to Lovell White Durrant, is understood to have approached and met with a number of firms with the view of offering them on-going parental advice and child care services.The service offered to firms is thought to be the first of its kind in terms of its comprehensiveness and comes complete with a nanny help line, as well as emergency and monitoring services.Slaughters competition partner Laura Carstensen – a mother of five – confirmed that FCCC had approached the firm. But she stressed that, while the firm was keen to address the issue of providing on-going support to lawyers with young families, it was too early to say whether its services were suitable.Carstensen said: “This is a subject we are very much focused on. But the real issue is not just about finding the right nanny, it is about a firm-wide approach to balance the private life with professional responsibilities.”A spokeswoman from Weil Gotshal & Manges said that FCCC was just one of the options the firm was looking at to stem the loss of fee earners to parenthood – estimated by recruitment consultants ZMB to cost in the region of £250,000 for a four-year qualified lawyer. Linklaters & Alliance’s company partner Diana Good, who was responsible for introducing flexible working time for lawyers with families, said that child care consultancy such as that offered by FCCC was not something her firm had looked into yet, but she did not rule it out.FCCC’s managing director Oliver Black said: “No law firm is genuinely dealing with this problem. The responsibility of having a child and caring for it lies very much on the shoulders of the parent, forcing them to make life choices without any options.”

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