Speechly to go open-plan in move to new offices

Speechly Bircham is preparing to move offices, with the City firm’s partnership agreeing to an open-plan environment.

Many lawyers are resistant to open-plan offices, but managing partner Michael Lingens said the firm would move to a 77,127sq ft site in London’s New Street Square in May.

“The most important reason is that it aligns the working environment with the culture of the firm,” he said. “That is a collaborative team-working culture.”

He added: “HR, finance and marketing departments work in open-plan spaces. It’s been a feature of accountancy firms for some time. It’s only lawyers who claim that work has to be done behind closed doors.”

All partners agreed to the open-plan space, although Lingens anticipates there could be some “teething problems”. He said: “We’ll review the situation after a couple of months and fix any problems.”

Lingens said the move would force the firm to change its central filing management systems. “There will be less space for files in the offices,” he said. “Effectively it will force the introduction of a paperless office.”