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03 September 2020

Squire Patton Boggs unveils flexible working plans ahead of London office move

Firm scraps fixed office hours in the UK as part of remote working trial

Squire Patton Boggs is moving to its new Premier Place office in London this week

Squire Patton Boggs is abolishing core hours in the UK and trialling enhanced flexible working as it adopts an open floor plan at its new London headquarters, which opens this week.

Around 170 lawyers are transferring to the top 40 US firm’s new home in Premier Place, Devonshire Square, which is next door to its former 7 Devonshire Square premises.

Under the new arrangements, there will be no assigned offices, although the firm says there will be ‘ample conference, break out and collaboration space for people to work from as needed’.

London managing partner Jane Haxby said: “In our planning for the new office we have not missed the opportunity to implement new strategic thinking in the workplace. Reconfigured practice floors will provide a dynamic environment, supporting an increasingly mobile and collaborative work process, and it gives us flexibility for the business to grow.”

However, the opening of the office—along with the return of staff to its other UK branches in Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds—is being phased ‘to manage capacity, social distancing and contact tracing requirements so that everyone feels as safe and reassured as possible’.

Under the flexible work programme, which is undergoing a six-month trial, staff are being given the option to work from 20-50% of their time remotely, depending on their roles.

Core hours are also being scrapped to allow staff ‘as much flexibility with start/finish times as possible’.

Jonathan Jones, EMEA managing partner, said: “We will be monitoring circumstances closely and listening to our people over the coming months in order to be as flexible and accommodating as possible to everyone’s varying circumstances. Over time, we look forward to welcoming colleagues, clients and business contacts back to the office.”

The firm, which is taking up the top three floors of Premier Place, said it had used high levels of recycled materials including reconditioned furniture from its old office while natural light had been maximised to improve energy efficiency alongside the use of improved technology.

According to Savills’ City Office Market Watch, Squire is occupying 52,391 sq ft under a 15-year lease signed in June 2019 with a mutual seven-year break clause.

Squire’s adoption of flexible working follows a similar move by UK magic circle firm Linklaters, which was unveiled last month.

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