Boult Wade Tennant



The wellbeing (both mental and physical) of our people is of real importance to Boult and we are pleased that Peppy is providing personal support to our colleagues on the issues that matter to them. We also firmly believe Peppy’s services are a great springboard to combat the stigma associated with the menopause in the workplace in particular. We recently ran a menopause awareness event at our London office which has started some excellent conversations on the topic, and how we can support our people further.

Angela McCleave

Maintaining the wellbeing of our people is of critical importance to Boult. We have always prided ourselves on our warm and collegiate culture, and in supporting our people’s physical and mental wellbeing. This was really reinforced during the pandemic. We didn’t furlough any employees, as we were resolved to look after all our people, and to protect their jobs in the face of unprecedented events.

It was also during this period that many of our current wellbeing initiatives had their initial rollout. We introduced alternative hours to the usual 9am to 5pm to support working parents; made sure employees were given the opportunity to stay active through Pilates and HIIT classes; ran a mental wellbeing course for all staff; and held social events for the firm. The opportunity to develop our wellbeing programme was a positive outcome of the pandemic and it is an important focus for Boult going forward.

Mental wellness is vital because mental health issues can affect anyone, both inside and outside of work. None of us are immune from experiencing problems with our mental health, whatever level we are within the firm. This is not empty rhetoric at Boult, as the ethos of the firm really is to be, at its core, caring. We look after our people because without them, there is no Boult. 

Case studies

Boult recently added Peppy to our suite of VitalityHealth services available to our staff. Peppy offers remote consultations and confidential chat services for employees on major health and wellbeing concerns, from menopause, pregnancy and fertility to men’s and women’s health.

I never really liked sport – I hated PE in school – but in the last year, following some mental health issues in the family, I decided I needed to try something to find some space. A friend suggested joining a local running club on their ‘Couch to 5k’ programme, and I was hooked right away! I’m now training to be a team leader at the club.

My love for running has gone far beyond that initial beginner programme, and having completed consistently longer distances, I have even run a half marathon recently, running for cancer research UK and for the British Heart Foundation. I also hope to do a full marathon in the near future!

For me, running really helps clear my head. Mental health is something you have to continuously keep an eye on and while therapy is a fantastic tool, running has been amazing at keeping me in a good place mentally.”

Amy Giffard, Secretary

When I became aware of the wellbeing committee here at Boult I really had to get involved. Helping people doesn’t get much more real than mental health support. To be honest another reason I got involved was, because the statistics for men in my age demographic is stark. Suicide is the biggest killer for men under 50 years of age. How many of those deaths are preventable? How many people did each passing affect? The Boult Wellness Group, led by Angela McCleave put me on an excellent mental health first aid course in 2022. The course taught me all aspects of mental illness, how to provide initial support and what resources are available to us all. I am now fortunate enough to say that I am a qualified Mental Health First Aider with MHFA England. None of us is alone and its okay to not be okay. Boult has been literally revolutionary in its approach and tone with regards to mental health support and I’m privileged to be a part of it.

Tarik Chaibi, Trade Mark Manager, Records and Renewals

Properly designed, collaborative working spaces can help the wellbeing of staff and visitors. This is why when we moved offices in London in 2019 we engaged with Oktra, an office design and build company. We wanted the new office to help reduce stress and increase productivity levels. We were aware that regular changes in posture improved blood flow and so we incorporated into the design different options to move to different areas of the office dependent on a work task. We also wanted the communal areas to benefit from the most natural light as we knew that light can have a positive effect on moods, energy and productivity.

With their help, we have created an environment that encourages collaboration and team work and also includes quiet spaces and areas that are private. We have been able to give staff more control over their environment through height adjustable desks, ergonomic chairs and flexible lighting and sound proofing.

After the pandemic, we transitioned to a hybrid working pattern and we’ve found that the space created has easily adapted to desk sharing or hot desking.

The challenge with the Boult office design was to create a workspace that promoted wellbeing whilst retaining the need for privacy. In many respects, Boult was ahead of the game in understanding how the environment can affect the mental and physical welfare of their staff as well as the firm’s culture. Boult wanted to embrace openness and agile working whilst balancing the need to encourage socialising but also ensuring staff had the privacy they needed to do their job. They wanted a solution that considered modern ways of working and the holistic wellbeing of their people and we were confident we would meet the brief by using physical, psychological and social factors. The physical layout of the office was designed to ensure the most people possible benefited from the natural light by ensuring communal and open plan working areas were positioned beside the floor to ceiling windows overlooking London’s skyline. We built choice into the working environment so that people could move around the office more often, giving staff greater diversity or setting to match the task to the space that supports them most. We also incorporated their desire for sustainable office design and were delighted to hear the building achieved BREEAM.

Tim Waite, Managing Director OKTRA

The intention of the Mindful Business Charter (MBC) is to remove unnecessary sources of stress and promote better mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. The charter recognises that we cannot remove all sources of stress, but as a business community we have a responsibility to try to do things differently. In 2022, Boult signed up to the Mindful Business Charter (the first IP firm to do so) to demonstrate our commitment to reducing unnecessary stress in the workplace and actively identifying solutions to help people better handle stressful situations.

Boult recognises the importance of good mental health in order to build a happier, more efficient and better-balanced workplace. There is a lot of potential stress in the profession, not all of which can be removed entirely. Boult looks to build a workplace that allows these stresses to be shared and so hopefully lessened, by providing a workplace that promotes discussion between colleagues and different people in different teams and at different levels. This allows workload to be balanced, for instance, worries to be shared, and open discussion to take place to suggest and implement changes in working practices that can help relieve the burden.

We also have structures in place to recognise where others may be having difficulties (at home or at work), and to provide a supportive organisation in which people can be frank about issues that may affect them without encountering stigma. We are open to working with external institutions and charities to support this – one of which is Jonathan’s Voice.

Jonathan’s Voice was established in 2017 in memory of Jonathan McCartney, a Patent Attorney who tragically took his own life that year. They help to promote mental wellbeing and mental health awareness with a particular focus on the IP industry and those at an early stage in their careers.

The charity aims to reduce the stigma associated with mental health issues and to empower people to speak up and ask for help when they need it. They work closely with organisations such as CIPA, CITMA and IP Inclusive as well as individual companies, to raise awareness and support them to develop better mental health and wellbeing practices in the workplace. They offer various resources on their website to assist IP Professionals, but also managers and Supervisors in IP Organisations.

Victoria Russell, Senior Associate, has played a role in introducing Jonathan’s Voice to Boult.

I have been aware of Jonathan’s Voice through their involvement with CIPA’s IP Inclusive,” she says. “I was encouraged to get in touch, and Graham and Katie from Jonathan’s Voice came to Boult and gave a really engaging talk about the charity and the work that they do.

That talk was held for staff as part of our Movember series of events. “The talk emphasised why it is so important to support good mental health within the workplace, and why that should be a priority for employers.”

Although still in the early stages, the team at Boult is keen to continue to develop our relationship with Jonathan’s Voice in the next year, and we look forward to working with Jonathan’s Voice further in 2024.

Victoria notes, “there’s a willingness to do more to promote good mental health within Boult, and to develop the ethos within our firm for a healthy workplace”.