Freeths office closure in remote working push

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By Aishah Hussain on

National law firm shutters in Stoke-on-Trent; gives lawyers option to work from offices in Birmingham, Manchester or Derby

National law firm Freeths is closing its office in Stoke and moving all lawyers and staff based there to permanent remote-working.

The move follows a review of its office portfolio and the retirement of Stoke office managing partner, Peter Gavin, last year.

The closure means Freeths now has 12 offices located across the UK. Staff based in Stoke will be able to nominally select one of the firm’s Birmingham, Manchester or Derby offices as their base location.

Freeths recently moved into its new look Derby outpost, which is “specifically designed to accommodate an efficient agile working environment”, and is moving to new premises in Oxford in the summer.

Freeths national managing partner Karl Jansen said in a statement: “The pandemic has proven we can still offer excellent and immediate service, while working remotely, and our lawyers are enjoying the benefits of a more flexible working environment.”

He continued:

“Moving to a more modern and progressive office platform will ensure benefits for both clients and our people, which is why we feel it is important to move forward and continue to embrace all the benefits which technology offers.”

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The success of the great ‘work from home’ experiment has led many law firms to rethink their office space. It’s likely the remote-working practices adopted in the wake of the coronavirus and lockdowns which followed, will continue in some form once restrictions are lifted in June at the earliest.

Last summer it was reported that Dentons had closed two of its UK offices, in Aberdeen and Watford, and moved staff, including five trainees located across both offices, to permanent remote-working.

Meanwhile, Slater and Gordon shuttered its London office in September. The 200 employees formerly based there now work remotely, but the firm said at the time it hopes to find a smaller office space to host in-person meetings.

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