Peter Harrison is a Partner at Kemp Strang and was a key member of the client team responsible for the practice’s relocation to new premises. Right from the start Peter and his colleagues recognized the value futurespace could add to their business through an intelligent workplace solution . Here he talks about how the new premises continues to support the practice three years on.
1. What was the biggest driver for Kemp Strang to move to a new location and create a new working environment?
Kemp Strang had been in our previous building for almost 20 years. In that time we had expanded and taken on extra floors, all with different fitouts. We were looking to find a building with a larger floor size so that we could have people who work in the same practice area sitting together. We were also looking for a space which was both somewhere that our clients would like to meet with us and a place where our own people would want to come to work.
2. What was the biggest challenge during this process?
As a legal partnership, most of us wanted to have a say in the look and feel of our new premises. It was always going to be a challenge for everybody to be happy with the location and design of a new office. With the help of Futurespace we were able to schedule a number of meetings of partners and key staff so that everyone could participate in the discussion around our new premises. These meetings took place at various stages during the planning and design process and gave all of our senior people an opportunity to have their input into what our new workplace would be like. Needless to say, we are all delighted with the result, which has given us a modern office that reflects our aspirations for our firm.
3. How has the workplace supported change in the business since moving to new premises?
Our new premises provide us with many advantages. Our meeting room floor allows us to accommodate to up to 100 people at our regular lunchtime and breakfast client briefings. When our clients visit they are welcomed to a spacious, light filled reception area. We can also now conduct mediations on site, without disrupting regular client meetings. Our new, standardised personal work spaces allow us great flexibility in locating staff. The office layout is modern and open, and there are plenty of breakout spaces for group meetings and big projects. This variety of work spaces helps us to be more productive in the way we work.
4. You’ve been in the new environment for a while now; what changes have you noticed in people’s behaviours since moving?
The Dispute Resolution practice area that I work in was previously spread over two floors. Since we moved three years ago we have been together on one floor. This has made collaboration within our group much easier. On most days we have groups of people eating lunch together in our breakout areas. Having these spaces has fostered closer interaction amongst all of our staff and assisted new staff to quickly be welcomed into the team.
5. How do you see law firms changing and adapting as younger generations become a more dominant influence in legal practices?
The very traditional legal profession that I joined has transformed enormously. I am sure that this is true for most industries. New technology has changed the way that we work with clients, with many clients communicating with us and tracking the status of their files through our secure website “Vision”. However, at Kemp Strang, we still place the utmost importance on building longstanding partnerships with our clients based on strong personal relationships, mutual understanding and trust. These values are part of our culture that we instil in our younger lawyers and I am happy to say that I cannot see this changing.
Click here to read more about the Kemp Strang project