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Transforming Office Spaces Improve How Law Firms Do Business

Colin Scarlett, a commercial real estate specialist with Colliers International in Vancouver, is receiving a lot of attention from some of the world's top law firms.  Scarlett has been visiting law firms in 14 different cities, building an expertise on how law firms can solve their business problems by changing the space they work in.

A current challenge for law firms is handling "low rung" legal work such as researching, due diligence tasks, and contract writing, which is typically conducted by entry-level lawyers.  However, several large corporate services companies are targeting these legal services, undercutting traditional law firms which results in less work experience for new lawyers.  In order for traditional law firms to survive and grow, they'll need to find new ways to hone expertise and experience in their lawyers.

In London, England over a third of law firms are open-planned with no offices whatsoever.  Such a design in office space means that there are collaborative spaces with mixed seating, open leisure spaces, and areas that encourage top elders and new recruits to share ideas and brainstorm solutions. According to Scarlett, "the future success of any professional service firm is directly correlated to the ability to transfer of knowledge from the most senior person to the most junior person as fast as possible."

Law firms in London far larger than those in Canada have switched to open planning spaces, and some of Vancouver's law firms are starting to following suit, thanks to Scarlett.  With the successes in London becoming more apparent, the space in which law firms do business may look quite different in the years ahead.

Source: Vancouver Executive Gives Law Firms a Modern Sense of Space by Evan Duggan, The Vancouver Sun (October 14, 2014).


Derek May, HUB International PROFESSIONAL

HUB International PROFESSIONAL LAWYERS’ specialists are based in Vancouver and are focused on delivering the best coverage, best value and best service, with winning solutions for small, medium and large firms.

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