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Can The Idea From Some Big Law Firms of Working From the Partners’ Office Actually Work?

Can The Idea From Some Big Law Firms of Working From the Partners' Office Actually Work? 7

Working from a partner’s office is hardly something most younger lawyers would dare attempt, but it is part of the new, COVID norm apparently.

Increasingly there has been debate about just how sacrosanct the partner’s office should be.

As Law.com reported, a law firm partner’s identity and bravado can be shaped by many things, including a hefty pay packet and legal directory rankings. But a specific source of pride has always been the partner’s office.

As law firms realize they do not need their current real estate overheads and ‘footprint’ they are doing so with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London moving to offices that are reportedly about 20 per cent smaller than their previous office space.

Freshfields’ lawyers move into their new offices at 100 Bishopsgate office later this year when the firm is planning to operate an ‘office release system’ which means someone else can use your office if you are working remotely.

“If you’re not there, you give your office up”, London managing partner Claire Wills told the website Legal Week  while another partner, who isn’t named, said lockdown had shown that “people do not need rooms full of paper and offices in the traditional sense.”

“I used to think I could not work without precedents around me but it’s more a comfort blanket. We’ve been at home without any of this stuff and most people are busy.”

Legal Week

Just how the practice works when the new offices come on stream is another question, but it is something that will take more than just a change in mindset over ‘real estate footprint’ and have perhaps more to do with partner ego and prestige. Therein lies a major obstacle.

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