DWS moots closure of office after mass exodus

Denton Wilde Sapte (DWS) is considering the closure of its 5 Chancery Lane office as part of a cost-cutting drive.

The office was home to the technology, media and telecoms (TMT) department, which last month saw 11 partners quit for DLA. A senior DWS partner said the defections had given the firm an opportunity to examine its property needs.

The exits may see the number of partners at 5 Chancery Lane plummet from 27 to 18. The total number of staff at the office, which is currently undergoing refurbishment, stands at 260.

It is understood that, if the closure goes ahead, remaining lawyers and staff would be relocated to the firm’s main premises in Fleet Place.

The move would have added poignancy because Chancery Lane was also the home of Denton Hall prior to the Wilde Sapte merger.
A DWS spokesperson stressed that the process was still in its early stages and no decision had yet been made.

DWS retains space in five London locations. As well as Chancery Lane and the main offices in Fleet Place, it occupies around 3,000sq ft in Leadenhall Street, housing 14 staff specialising in insurance. ‘To Let’ signs have been hanging outside the firm’s other properties at 124 Chancery Lane and Strand Bridge for around a year.