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National firm to close London office as it looks to embrace permanent remote-working

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Slater and Gordon to find smaller hub suitable for post COVID-19 world

Slater and Gordon is set to ditch its London office once its lease is up in September, as it looks to embrace permanent remote-working.

The national firm informed staff this week of its decision to close its London office in Holborn where around 200 employees are based. Staff will work remotely for the most part from September but it hopes to find a smaller office space to host in-person meetings.

Slater and Gordon has already moved most of its staff from the office to remote home-working, in line with other law firms. It plans to continue with a work-from-home policy in the post COVID-19 world.

The firm’s chief executive, David Whitmore, said in a statement:

“We have announced to our staff that we won’t ever go back to how we worked before COVID. When we do look to return to our offices they won’t look like they used to and colleagues will be encouraged to continue working remotely for the majority of the time. Working smart is better for everyone.”

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He added that the firm’s offices are likely to run to just 35% capacity while social distancing restrictions remain. Staff will be provided with multiple screens if they are needed and their homes fitted with suitable office equipment.

Slater and Gordon said it will conduct a review of its six other UK offices. It appears that the personal injury specialist has already placed its Manchester office on the market, according to RollOnFriday. It has previously shuttered in Chester, Fareham, Leeds, Milton Keynes, Preston and Wrexham.

Following today’s news it remains to be seen whether other law firms will follow suit. This week we reported that some City law firms are putting plans in place to ensure that they can keep their lawyers safe once working life resumes. Hand sanitiser, face masks and temperature tests are all on the cards, with one law firm even opting for 2mx2m tents(!) as a safe solution.

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27 Comments

Anonymous

Seems like the number of personal injury cases the firm has had to work on have seriously plummeted since the pandemic. Thus the remote working comes at a bid to cut overheads.

(21)(1)

Michael S

No, it is to fund the six figure salaries of the vast number of managers at S&G. DW on at least £500k, the rest not far behind, that’s where the money goes.

(12)(0)

#SGWAY

Totally outrageous, especially for a half-insolvent bucketshop like S&G.

(15)(0)

City life

It will be shocking if big law city firms follow suit. Where will all lawyers go to feel self important? No more marble floors, luxury coffee machines, and swanky rooftop views!!

In all seriousness though, going to work makes people feel their life has purpose. For all those whinging about the commute and things like that, yes it’s hassle but it’s the way it goes in the city.

I’d rather have flexible start/leave times then have to work exclusively at home forever. Imagine waking up, walking to the kitchen, then back to your room again for the ENTIRE DAY. Kinda sucks

(96)(12)

Anon

There is a personal and public good in having a routine and a delineation between home life and work. WfH might be good for some of those who have nice houses, partners, older children and pets but given a worryingly large number of working-age people already report feeling lonely, the loss of time with colleagues is really dangerous.

People will become isolated, detached, and start slipping through the cracks very easily.

And there won’t even be the ‘we’re all in this together to defeat the virus’ mentality that people have had during the lockdown.

(69)(4)

Insurance sol 100% English

100% this. I live for all the top bantz and liquid lunches with the lads on a Thursday afternoon, then straight off to Dirty Martini to check out all the supple Essex poon. So good, this needs to come back QUICK NOW RIGHT NOW

(30)(2)

Barrister

This.

You r my new idol

(2)(0)

Old City codger

This man should be the PM of this fine country I say

(0)(0)

Jimmy Exetah

Lads with such bantz ought to be included on the Queen’s Honours List!

(0)(0)

Anon.

We should move the economy outside of London.

Spread this work around, rejuvenate the economy.

Covid has shown the utterly unnecessary nature of most office work.

(25)(26)

Regular Legal cheek Reader

I worked from home for 15 years and would make the following observations. If you have no need to leave the office environment, its best to find a place in the house that is rarely used so you can compartmentalise the office from the home. I used my study. If possible spend one day away from home where you can meet up with work colleagues and use a hot desk. It will preserve your sanity, give you a semi social outlet and a break from the isolation of home working. I was lucky in that I was out half of the time. Do not lose face to face contact at least once a month with bosses, and the wider team. At some point you will almost feel like you are self employed and not part of a team if you don’t. If you have a fair old commute then your working life will be greatly improved without it. I have never lived far from my office so was no great benefit to me. Remember during winter months you will be heating and lighting your home whereas you may not normally unless your wife/partner is at home so utility bills will be higher. Make sure you are given the right kit to work from home. Don’t make do with any old worktop or chair, you need to meet the requirements for correct seating and positioning to work continuously on a PC/laptop.

(27)(0)

Covey

Ok boomer.

(15)(5)

Voice of reason

With such comment, you should call yourself “Regular Legal Cheek Commenter”

(4)(0)

STALLONE

Cool story brah, changed my life.

(3)(1)

Mr P

Paragraphs please.

(6)(1)

Archibald Pomp O'City

“I…would make the following observations”.

Pompous word salad. Like the sound of your own voice.

(3)(6)

Kirkland & Ellis 3PQE (mortgaging 2nd holiday home)

Disgraceful carry-on. Where am I going to drive the Bugatti if am I sitting at home all day long.

(6)(10)

Akin Gump 1PQE

I thought you were Lambo boys – at what stage does a Bugatti become affordable!?

(0)(0)

Anon

S+G will blame Covid-19 but it has long been known this is a sinking ship, desperate to trim any fat it still is able to find. Its Manchester office was reportedly on the market since March 2020, way before the pandemic really began to bite. This is all a ploy from management who are desperate to save the hulk before it finally goes crashing beneath the waves.

(38)(0)

SG Exec Board

Fair point

(7)(0)

anon

Is it true that to work at LegalCheek you need to have a first class Oxbridge degree? I also heard that they work 16 hour shifts for very little.

(7)(0)

anon

I hear Alex has turned LC into a multimillion pound company

(2)(0)

Anon

So surprised that a heavily leveraged ambulance chasing model failed.

(6)(0)

Dai Bando

More investment is needed in the UK’s internet and mobile infrastructure before this option is available for all who need it.

(0)(0)

A. Knowall

S&Gs level of borrowing is extraordinary, how that that happen? I think similar issues will hit all these industrial level ‘Blame-Claim’ lawyers. Do they realise their dismal approval rating amongst the public? I feel sorry for the employees, working from home will be their least of their problems.

(4)(0)

anon

Alex why did you delete my comment about you turning legal cheek into a multimillion pound enterprise? Ever heard of something called satire?

(1)(4)

Fran

whatever the reason, is good news. Why do people have to endure difficult and expensive journeys when they can work from home? Why do we need to pollute the environment with unnecessary travel? Why do we need to cause traffic, accidents, pollution? Why do we need to build more and more just for office space when this can be avoided? There should be legislation in place to encourage work from home wherever possible …..

(6)(7)

Comments are closed.

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