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Agile thinking

A pioneer of flexible working, Janet Cooper OBE talks to John van der Luit-Drummond about promoting new working practices as a way to retain talented staff and proving that high-quality legal work can be produced outside the City

4 April 2017

Six weeks before Christmas 2016, a letter arrived at Sheffield-based law firm Tapestry Compliance addressed to its managing partner, Janet Cooper. The gist of the letter was: ‘Would you like an OBE?’ Cooper, the firm’s co-founder and former head of global incentives at Linklaters, had been nominated in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for services to equality, women’s empowerment, and employee share ownership. ‘I was absolutely delighted,’ says Cooper. ‘I know some people decline honours but I responded immediately saying, “Thank you!”’

Cooper’s CV is littered with examples of her work fighting for gender equality: she serves on the boards of UNWomen, which works for gender equality globally, and Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS), which aims to have women included in peace processes in conflict zones. But it is her work in ...

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