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BLM to shutter two offices in permanent remote-working push

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Launches redundancy consultation

Insurance law heavyweight BLM is to close two of its offices, with lawyers and staff set to work remotely on a permanent basis.

BLM said it would not be renewing the leases for both its offices in Leeds and Bristol when they expire next year, in a statement issued yesterday.

The Leeds hub houses 16 members of staff, including three partners, while 17 employees, including four partners, operate from BLM’s Bristol base. All staff will have the option to work from one of the firm’s other offices.

“Whilst we are ceasing to have a physical office in Bristol and Leeds, our colleagues will be very much a part of the future of BLM supporting the firm’s clients as they do now,” senior partner Matthew Harrington said. “This is an opportunity to launch a new way of working, retaining local links but operating in a virtual way. Essentially, we will continue to be an efficient and dynamic firm, challenging the conventional status quo of the insurance law market.”

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At the same time, BLM said it will enter into a redundancy consultation which is expected to effect 89 roles within its legal support and corporate services teams.

Dentons announced in July it was closing two UK offices, Aberdeen and Watford, with staff set to work remotely. In a similar move, Slater & Gordon revealed earlier this year it is to close its London office, although it hopes to find a smaller office space to host in-person meetings.

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15 Comments

Anon

Probably leaving its remote working staff to fork out for increases to their energy bills working permanently from home whilst BLM no longer have to pay rent on two commercial leases.

(29)(1)

Anonymous

Increases in energy bills would be more than offset by the reduction in travel, food and clothing costs.

(5)(0)

Daniel

Sad. I’d hate to work remotely forevermore.

(26)(2)

Steven Seagull

Plenty of people would love to work remotely permanently (or at least have no restrictions on home working). I think polls had the split at around 50/50.

(13)(14)

Bystander

I’m quite fascinated with how people’s response to wfh has evolved over the last few months. When lots of firm’s carried out their surveys a month or so ago there was real excitement about a wfh revolution and a wish amongst many to not return to the office. It appears there has been a shift as the novelty has worn off and people perhaps miss the general interaction with colleagues. I think this will continue as we go into the winter months with shorter days and more miserable weather. My view is that those that are now chomping at the bit to wfh 5 days a week may come to regret it and by then office space might have been cut back so the die will be cast. I would be careful about making rash decisions based on the experience of a few summer months and no concern about being the one who is missing out when others are in the office.

(36)(4)

Polly

I agree completely. I am starting to go a little insane working from home.

(21)(2)

Samantha

I’m one of the ones who hated working from home from the first day and am counting the days until I can return to the office. I would be absolutely sickened if my firm did what BLM are doing here.

(14)(3)

Steven Seagull

Nope. Still loving it. Plenty of people are (again, it’s probably split 50/50).

This is why Firms should move to an unrestricted policy. That way people who want to be in the office or enjoy it are free to do so, and those who don’t need or want to be in the office are also free to work from home. People are all different. Not everyone needs social interaction or benefits from the office environment.

The key is to allow everyone to work in the way that suits them.

(26)(2)

Anonymous

I love working from home. Means I never have to interact with Brexity tyoes.

(2)(2)

WFH? Forever.

Essentially, when people can longer sun it up, or whack out the G&Ts with their shades on at 15:00 on a slow day, the novelty begins to wear off.

You’ve not left your house in a while. You’ve not seen a new face besides from the aggressive jogger who passes you on your daily “walk”. It all starts kicking in all at once: the walls begin to close in, an indescribable ache begins to set in (possibly from the lack of adjustable back and front setting on your chair, but you know its not) and your back suddenly gets sweaty. You need to leave, but you can’t; you’re trapped.

But by all means, I am sure working from home forever is just fine and dandy.

(23)(4)

Xavier Wiggins

Like many things, people tend to get quite black and white on office v remote working. Truth is that the ideal scenario probably sits between the two. I have just launched a start up called OfficeCheckers.com that helps Employers get create safe and productive offices for their staff so I should be biased but I think that most people should try and do both, if the option is available.

(1)(3)

Chuck

Lmfao nice promo

(5)(0)

Wayne

How much der ye services costey?

(0)(2)

Coolio

Profiteering from covid and hogging threads as cheap marketing. Not cool.

(2)(3)

Anon

Well, it’s Leeds which is rubbish. Imagine employees from elsewhere resented having to go there for meetings, training and the like. There’s only so much “Yorkshire” one can take.

Then there’s Bristol which is basically an overgrown village not of much commercial importance in UK terms.

(1)(0)

Comments are closed.

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