Culture

Values

Values create excellence: Noerr is a values-oriented company. We focus very consciously on what drives Noerr forward and keeps us together. We have identified four values, which we once debated explicitly during a firm-wide culture day and to which we have all committed ourselves:

  • Striving for excellence.
  • Passion for what we do.
  • Displaying and rewarding trust.
  • Living a team spirit.

What does this mean? Debating values is important when your fundamental aim is to grant each individual a high degree of independence and autonomy – in order, for instance, to prepare the ground for diverse specialisations which are stimulated by passion, come together productively through team spirit and trust, and lead ultimately to "best in class" excellence.

Through this set of values, we have developed a compass for our daily work, which guides every one of us and makes our interaction particularly successful. But these values also offer great scope for professional development to you, with your individual goals. Excellence and passion also benefit when we offer a platform and appreciation for your individual specialisation. The best conditions for this are created by working in an atmosphere of trust and enjoying the support and backing that come from being part of a team.

Values generate a particular culture. Time and again, Noerr is credited with having an especially cooperative atmosphere, all our ambitious goals notwithstanding. Our new recruits tell us that, after they had weighed up all their job offers, it was their "feeling" that decided in favour of Noerr. We view this as high praise. It is also a sign that, ultimately, we are able to attract not only the best people, but also the right people, to our side.

Work Life Balance

The complexity and demands of our cases, many of them international, require our staff to display not only outstanding expertise but also enthusiasm and, often, flexibility in their work.

However, in coordinating our cases and projects, we are now trying harder than ever to take account of two aspects. The first is enough downtime to let you recharge your batteries and, not least, gain inspiration from leisure pursuits. This means, for example, that we encourage you to use your leave entitlement and not to put it off. Also, apart from a few unavoidable exceptions, we treat weekends and public holidays as sacrosanct.

Second, we recognise our employees' growing family commitments. We are trying to do more and more to meet these changing needs, ranging from parental leave (for fathers too), flexible working hours, sabbaticals and new advisory posts (Counsel/Senior Counsel) to specific help with, for example, caring for children or parents.

We feel a particular obligation here to our female advisors, whose excellence we regard as indispensable. Measures such as special "ladies’ lunches", talks and workshops address only one aspect of this challenge. Ultimately, it is practical solutions to practical problems that count. These are the solutions that we can offer already:

  • flexible working hours, including "home office";
  • individually tailored models for part-time work;
  • sabbaticals and parental leave;
  • cooperation with the pme Familienservice agency (= support in organising family life: nurseries, caring for parents, advice at difficult stages of your life, etc.).

In addition, we now invite you to enter into a dialogue with us to help work out how we can do more and more to reconcile the demands of work, on the one hand, and your individual leisure time and family life, on the other. Click here to read one success story in this area.

Culture day

Just imagine it: a large-scale live link-up bringing together more than 800 staff from 11 countries. This is exactly what we did on our firm-wide culture day in September 2012. Colleagues from across all our specialist fields and support departments came together to reflect on what the values of 'excellence', 'passion', 'trust' and 'team spirit' mean to us and to what extent we (can) live them in our everyday routine.

The result was a stronger sense of "us", because we could all see it. There was a greater commitment to our values in our daily work. Above all, there were "quick wins", which we were able to achieve immediately, such as doing away with titles in internal communications. Finally, there were many important suggestions, ideas and proposals for improvement, which we will tackle and put into effect gradually.

Here are some views on the event:

"The group discussion and get-together were great fun. We had an interesting – and often heated! – debate about the interpretation of the values and how they can be best expressed in our daily working. We also enjoyed getting creative for the visual presentation of the values." (Attorney, Alicante)

"What impressed me personally was that all the locations took part in the video conference together at a specific time. This created a great sense of togetherness." (Assistant, Dresden)

"The most interesting part was the discussion with colleagues in all roles and at all levels in the hierarchy. It broadens your horizons to hear what concerns and problems there are when you have a completely different perspective." (Attorney, New York)

CSR

For a number of years, our firm has been making a substantial contribution by providing free advice to social entrepreneurs through the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation.

The Noerr KinderCamp project has attracted particular attention. In May 2011, all Noerr's professionals made their way to Austria. Officially, they had been invited to the "Wir 2011" ("We 2011") advisors' conference, but when they got there, they were in for a surprise: instead of a luxury hotel, all the bed-and-breakfast rooms in the town had been booked for them, and instead of advanced training and legal discussions, their agenda consisted of physical labour. So it was that around 450 lawyers, tax advisors and accountants armed themselves with saws, hammers and paintbrushes and built a camp for socially disadvantaged children. They were divided into groups and turned into joiners, gardeners, carpenters and interior decorators. Since then, Thalgau has been home to ten colourfully painted wooden caravans, complete with shower and toilet units. Four children at a time can sleep in each caravan.

"Recent years have been very successful for us, so we want to give something back to society", said Dr Tobias Bürgers, Co-Speaker of the firm, explaining the motivation for this unusual event. Since 2011, several hundred children, many of whom had never gone away on holiday before, have spent a week at the "Noerr KinderCamp" during the summer months. Several charitable organisations from Germany, Austria and Eastern Europe regularly send children to the camp, where they are looked after and taught by the organisations' staff. Some children have had a chance to get excited about things that we take for granted, such as hot running water in the showers or a proper, filling meal.

The Noerr KinderCamp is thus also making an important contribution to our society. The cost of the children's stay, the programme and their travel there and back is paid by Noerr KinderCamp e.V. Donations to this charitable association come from Noerr LLP partners and staff, and many clients also make financial contributions to support the project.