DWF to take up residency in London’s Walkie Talkie

DWF is to move all 305 London-based staff, including 53 partners, from its two current London sites into the Walkie Talkie on 1 September.

The Lawyer revealed that DWF staff would be moving from their current base at 85 King William Street to 20 Fenchurch Street in January (13 January 2014).

DWF plans to lease all of the thirty-second and part of the thirty-first floors, to house the current London headcount with additional capacity for future hires.

The 43,428sq ft of office space will be occupied on a 1:8 (people to sq m floor) ratio with the intention of doubling the London headcount to 600 in three years.

Other companies taking up residence in the building include RSA, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Tokio Marine Kiln and Vanquis.

DWF managing partner Andrew Leaitherland said: “It’s a flexible space designed to encourage agile working, teamwork and great client interaction.”

As part of its rapid growth strategy DWF has increased its flexible workforce to over 400 people, employs over 120 homeworkers and has invested £11m in IT systems over the last 12 months.

DWF has made 18 lateral partner or director level hires in London over the last 12 months, including an 11-partner team from Greenwoods following its decision to merge with defendant insurance firm Plexus Law in May 2013 (11 October 2013).

Other recent London laterals include corporate partner Richard Tall and associates Joe Cobley and Caroline Urban from TLT’s London office in February (5 February 2014), and three finance partners from legacy-Lawrence Graham in March (17 March 2014).

In 2007 Linklaters advised Land Securities throughout the planning process on the strategy and tactics for obtaining planning consent for the Walkie Talkie. Led by planning partner Ray Jackson and senior planning associate Michael Gill Linklater’s overcame objections by heritage bodies that the skyscraper would restrict natural light and obscure views of St Paul’s Cathedral (10 July 2007).