Rising above

Siskinds LLP pulls back the curtains on contemporary workspace for a contemporary law firm

Photos: Red Button Photography

IN WHAT WAS one the largest corporate moves in London over the past two decades, Siskinds LLP said goodbye to its red brick building at Waterloo and Pall Mall streets and settled into its 65,000-square-foot new home at the London City Centre Towers in September.

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The law firm now occupies the top four floors in the north tower, located at the ­corner of Dundas and Wellingtons streets, as well as space on the mezzanine.

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The firm started looking for new digs about five years ago to accommodate a growing team of 240 lawyers and support staff.

“We wanted a central location for staff and clients, something that was close to the courthouse, and we wanted to remain ­downtown to support the core,” says Siskinds CEO, Fred Rose.

London City Centre ticked every box for the firm. It also ­provided on-site visitor parking, and the firm was able to secure employee parking at the nearby convention centre.

Siskinds signed a 15-year lease in December 2019 and hired London commercial design firm Ollie Agency to transform the space.

“It’s an investment that shows our commitment to staying here for the long-term, to growing here in London and to attracting the best” ―Fred Rose

“Siskinds had a long-term vision and took an extremely thoughtful approach to the project,” notes Ollie Agency co-founder, Nicole Monich. “They wanted to achieve a timeless design that supported the way people want to work.”

The ground floor space includes a large reception area as well as 10 AV-equipped rooms for lawyer-­client meetings. “It was important, especially for our personal injury lawyers, that people could come in and not have to navigate an elevator,” Rose explains.

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On the upper floors, the new design takes full advantage of the natural light and 360-degree views. Dated T-bar ceilings were removed to achieve greater height and to create a slightly industrial feel. The 14,000-square-foot floor plate provides plenty of room for individual offices, open-plan work areas, meeting rooms, a sound-proof meeting pod and a European-inspired coffee bar.

An interconnecting staircase was added in order to create a contiguous office over four levels. “Once you are in our space you can move freely within it,” says Siskinds COO, Brian MacDonald, who worked closely with Ollie Agency on the project. “It helps bring the firm together.”

The Plaza is found on the top floor. With spectacular views over the city, the common areas include an open dining area with a breakfast bar and diner-style booths, various seating areas for relaxation, private rooms for personal phone calls and glass-­encased areas with open seating and greenery in each of the four corners.

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“We wanted to give staff flexibility. That meant creating different spaces where they can come and work,” says MacDonald. The unconventional space can also be used for events once Covid restrictions are lifted.

Siskinds had already begun to digitally transform their law practice before the ­pandemic hit. “Knowing that we were going to move, we made the decision to retire workstations and move the whole company to laptops,” says Siskinds CIO, Steven Mueller.

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The pandemic strengthened the firm’s commitment to incorporating state-of-the-art technology into every aspect of their new office. “The goal was to ensure that our services can be delivered smoothly in any environment, whether that’s a face-to-face meeting or a virtual trial,” Mueller says.

While declining to disclose a figure, Rose says Siskinds made a “significant” investment in the space. “It’s an investment that shows our commitment to staying here for the long-term, to growing here in London and to attracting the best.” Rising above siskinds Enterprise Nicole Laidler

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