MEETING IN THE MIDDLE -  Six months into the U.K.’s latest office return, London’s largest law firms are experiencing an awkward mix of half-empty premises and a difficulty in enforcing the rules, International’s Hannah Walker reports. A straw poll of a range of commercial law firms in the city found the majority are averaging about 60% occupancy on peak days, with the figure lower on Mondays and dropping to less than 25% on Fridays. While 60% might not sound particularly impressive, managing partners and estate agents said it is similar to what firms were operating at before the pandemic. Richard Proctor, partner and head of London tenant representation at Knight Frank said: “Every firm I talk to, regardless of if they have no policy or up to four days in the office, the reality is they’re experiencing midweek culture. On those days it’s up to around 60%, but pre-pandemic it only came up to about 65%. Very rarely would everyone be in at any one time.”


“Have a story to tell on how you will add value to the partnership. Lean into what makes you unique—perhaps a certain skill set, practice of law, personality trait, network or otherwise. Have solid reasons for why your firm should make you a partner or why they can’t risk that you leave the firm to make partner somewhere else.”

— Megan LaDriere White, partner at Baker Botts in Dallas, on her advice to associates with partnership aspirations.

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