Olswang opts for open-plan office

Olswang is trialling an open-plan office for parts of its real estate and corporate departments.

The trial, a pet project of chief executive Jonathan Goldstein includes head of real estate Tim Westhead and corporate partners Duncan McDonald and Stephen Rosen.

The three partners have been sitting with a mix of associates and trainees since May. If successful, the open-plan arrangement may be rolled out to the final floor of Olswang’s 90 High Holborn building, which has yet to be fitted out.

“It shows the attitude of Olswang, a firm that will get in and have a go. Lawyers are so often insular and isolated, sitting in a room with the door closed,” said Westhead.

“There are big advantages to being able to turn around and ask the guy next to you about what is happening with a particular aspect of a deal. There is not a lot of noise in our offices anyway and we are still able to just get on with it.”

It is understood that partners involved are struggling with paper-storage issues. There has been no timeframe set for the experiment.

Goldstein said: “Trialling open plan makes sense as part of our future expansion plans. The feedback from the teams, including both partners and fee-earners, has been positive both in terms of the ability to generate greater teamwork as well as further opportunities for training on the job.”