National firm closes London office as remote working becomes norm

updated on 01 June 2020

Slater & Gordon will close its London office after announcing that remote working will become the norm for its almost 2,000 staff once lockdown restrictions are lifted.

With the firm’s two-year lease on its London office ending later this year, it will move in September. A review of all offices nationwide is being conducted, also due to finish in September. The office closure is not expected to result in significant job losses, according to the Law Gazette.

The national firm intends to find a smaller office for London that is suitable for hosting meetings, with other work conducted remotely.

Chief Executive David Whitmore said: “We now have to decide how to operate going forward and we are determined to use the lessons of the last few months to define how we work.

“We are not doing this to be different, we want as much as possible to be business as usual. A lot of people have liked the way they have been able to operate and we have been listening to them.

“We’re looking for a space which is much more flexible,” he continued. “We’re not saying we’re going to turn into Google overnight but we’re saying the usual work practices will take place in a remote location.”

While it is believed that office space will be reduced in Manchester, the firm’s lease commitments for other offices are longer and no plans have been finalised regarding their future. Whitmore added that while social distancing measures are still in place, the firm’s offices are likely to run at just 35% capacity.

The firm plans to provide staff with multiple screens where required, as well as comfortable office equipment. Most staff at the firm have indicated that they would like to work remotely for the majority of their time and almost everyone wants flexible working patterns to be implemented. The firm has increased its wellbeing initiatives following the start of the UK’s lockdown in March and managers are expected to check up regularly on all staff.