Space – the final frontier of law firms

Linklaters is one of a number of City law firms that are considering a feng shui-style makeover of its workspace.

The firms have taken part in a study by workspace experts, who say the office environments of many firms are rooted in the past. “Their basic design conventions… have changed little since the 1970s,” it says, claiming a revamp can boost profitability.

The study, Legal Futures, by London design consultancy DEGW, aims to “reinvent” work space. It says stereotypes assume lawyers work in an isolated way, with sporadic team work and says lawyers are prone to be buried under a mountain of paperwork.

Linklaters property partner Robert Finch says his firm is always looking at ways to improve the working environment. He says project and administration areas are targeted for open-plan layout. “Some areas are already open-plan,” he adds, “but the office is laid out on a cellular basis.”