BLP office move could enhance flexible working opportunities

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP)’s imminent office consolidation will enhance opportunities for the firm’s staff to take advantage of flexible working opportunities, it has emerged.

BLP currently operates two offices in London but recently announced that it was relocating its teams in St Magnus House to its larger base at Adelaide House. The move will be completed by the end of 2016 and is taking place in stages.

Although the firm offers flexible working provisions on request to its London staff, agile working is more widely available in BLP’s Manchester services centre. Currently in London staff can request changes to working hours, days, or regular working from home, but the requests have to be balanced with the business’s needs.

A BLP spokesperson said following the move there would be an “increased opportunity for more flexible working” which would include “initiatives already being embraced by our lawyers across different practice groups”.

Agile working has been widely adopted in BLP’s Manchester office, which was opened in 2014 as part of a four-pronged process mapping and outsourcing programme. All due diligence lawyers based in Manchester work flexibly and paralegals have the opportunity to work at home when appropriate.

Speaking to The Lawyer BLP managing partner Lisa Mayhew said: “When we first started part of the proposition was you can come and work flexibly in our Manchester office. We do have very experienced lawyers and paralegals there but it suits their personal circumstances to work different hours in a different way. We have people working from home and people working flexible hours.

“Much like our LOD business we found it brought people through the door that we would usually not get. We found that has been a successful part of bringing people through the door and keeping them.”

Last year BLM offered its entire London-based staff the option to work flexibly after combining its two offices into a single City location on Fenchurch Street. The scheme allowed BLM to house around 350 staff members in Plantation House, which has maximum capacity for 306 people.