The international law firm is moving its core team of London solicitors onto a single floor within the firm’s Canary Wharf office rental in E14. The move will release a floor and the firm intends advertising the Docklands office space for rent.
Traditionally, corporate law firms have preferred the privacy of a more cellular layout with partners and associates allocated individual offices. By grouping its mainstream corporate lawyers together in an open-plan setting, Clifford Chance will be able to unite a department that is currently spread across levels 20 and 21 of the E14 office building on Upper Bank Street.
It has been estimated that Clifford Chance could expect to save £1m a year in business rates, by combining staff on the same floor.
A cohort of volunteers moved from the 20th to the 21st floor last Friday. To avoid disruption, the project will be spread over a 6 month period.
By relocating the Canary Wharf workstations, the legal partnership has been able to create a showroom, from which to begin marketing the 20th floor to prospective occupiers.
A spokesperson for Clifford Chance said “Yes, some lawyers are moving between floors. This is business as usual – as we continue to seek ways of occupying our space more efficiently for our people and for our clients", before adding that "There are many instances of open-plan working already in the office and we’ll continue to use this style of working where appropriate.”
The move will not affect the following specialist teams, who serve clients from the Telecoms Media Technology, Financial Services, and Competition sectors, as they are arranged on their own floor.