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Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) is a transatlantic legal firm with 24 offices across the UK and the US. Established in 2017 when UK-based Bond Dickinson LLP and US-based Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP combined, the Southampton office’s lease break presented an opportunity to not only reflect the newly merged company’s values but to occupy less space and make the move to open plan working.
Move from four floors to two
Include new open plan work areas
Ensure the new office emulated the sophisticated look and feel of London law firms.
Claremont developed the detail of the brief by working closely with WBD’s team. Claremont consulted with key staff through a series of one-to-ones and an online activity support questionnaire and also conducted a storage audit and a space utilisation survey. This information was presented to a steering group made up of different partners and departmental representatives to gauge their feedback, manage their concerns about moving from a semi-cellular layout to open plan working and increase their understanding of why change was necessary.
The result is a stylish, comfortable and well-equipped open plan workspace that supports WBD by providing a more collegiate way of working, while occupying 50% less space.
The open plan office has been designed sensitively to give partners privacy and to control noise, while still maintaining the feeling of a unified space. A selection of media pods, layout tables, quiet rooms and meeting rooms help to manage these concerns and provide ample space ‘away from the desk’ for highly confidential work, department meetings and lone working.
The new client suite comprises six meetings rooms, two of which can be opened into one 50-person space ideal for training and seminars. Such is the quality of the new suite that employees have started hosting meetings in the office again, proud to show off the facilities to client and suppliers. The overall design seamlessly connects the main work areas to the client suite and a café which links to a private, outdoor terrace space, ideal for client entertaining and employee use.
Ample space for onsite storage has been maintained with centralised roller racking and individual desk-side storage as well as a bespoke post room and print area.
Claremont really helped to guide us through the process of consolidating our space and to reduce the fears of our partners about the move to open plan working. The finished result is a very stylish and well-thought-through space that gives each of our employees everything they need, regardless of what they’re working on. We’ve had an incredibly positive response from our team and now have an even stronger sense of community and pride in our workplace. It’s testament to Claremont’s expertise and commitment to our brief that we now plan to roll this out as our design standard for the rest of our UK offices.
Jason Cousins, Womble Bond Dickinson
Desk / Collaboration Space