Law Firms Leased 1.5mil Sq Ft Of London Office Space In 2022
UNITED KINGDOM – Data from Knight Frank showed that law firms occupied a record 1.5 million sq of office space in London last year. Of this, 95 percent were made up of brand new or extensively renovated workspaces, reported The Financial Times on Sunday afternoon (15 January, SGT).
Moreover, law firms in the City of London are relocating at an unprecedented rate as they compete to attract workers with office spaces equipped with uncommon facilities or perks, like nail bars, yoga studies, or even beehives.
Among the law firms that took up new London office space with many facilities are Reed Smith, Clifford Chance, Addleshaw Goddard, and Squire Patton Boggs.
While many law firms are slashing their office footprint amidst the pivot towards hybrid work arrangement, they also want to leverage their office space to lure employees amidst an increasingly competitive labour market, on top of persuading existing staff to return to the office.
For instance, a study by Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) revealed that workers now care as much about the location of their office and its facilities as they do about their pay.
Law firm Fieldfisher’ Managing Partner Rob Shooter shared that “We want (our workplace) more enticing than working from home, and landlords have picked up on that.”
“We’ve been shown places with free hiring of Brompton (bicycles), yoga studios, and if I hear the phrase ‘Yotam Ottolenghi-style brasserie’ one more time I might kill someone,” he said.
Shooter disclosed that a real estate agent showed him a workplace with a wormery composting system on its terrace, as well as some offices with beehives and nail bars.
Meanwhile, law firm Reed Smith is transferring its City of London headquarters from Broadgate Tower’s crown to a renovated 1890s warehouse in Spitalfields known as the Blossom Yard & Studios.
“It’s more open plan, there’s a collaboration space which includes tables with lots of tech on them, a kitchen area that’s a destination point, with sofas and a TV. We’ve all gathered there to watch the world cup… It gets people in,” added Reed Smith Managing Partner for Europe and the Middle East, Tamara Box.