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.”
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.