Hogan Lovells is considering dropping one of its three London bases as the firm continues to review its real estate requirements in the city amid a restructuring of its back office operations.
The global legal giant is mulling whether to leave Meridian House on Farringdon Street, which houses between 200 and 250 staff covering a number of support functions, and drop down to two buildings in London.
In addition to its London headquarters at Atlantic House and support base at Meridian House, the firm also has office space at 21 Holborn Viaduct.
Hogan Lovells is midway through a restructuring of its U.K. support staff, with 90 London roles set to be cut or moved to its business services centers in Birmingham, England, and Johannesburg, which currently house about 70 and 110 staff members respectively.
“We’re looking at dropping Meridian House—a lot of this is driven by our offshore strategy,” said one London-based partner at the firm. “We just don’t need as much space.”
In September, the firm agreed a deal to triple its Birmingham office space as it gears up to move support roles away from London. The firm signed a lease to move into 23,388 square feet of space on the eighth floor of The Colmore Building in January 2018, more than three times the 7,620 square feet that it currently occupies on the 10th floor of the building.
Hogan Lovells has also created a designated “tech hub” space in Atlantic House. Partners from a range of practices, including corporate, technology, regulatory and commercial, are set to move into the refurbished space later this month.
“The firm is trying to break down siloes and wants a team that focuses on a number of artificial intelligence issues—augmented reality, blockchain, cloud computing, etc.—and can support clients on issues that arise from those sort of things,” added a London-based partner.
Last year Hogan Lovells considered a move away from Atlantic House, but struck a deal with its landlord, Deka Immobilien Investment GmbH, to remain to remain in the building. In early October, Hogan Lovells announced its plans to shutter its outpost in Mongolia.
“With regards to our London real estate, we can confirm that we will remain in Atlantic House until 2026 as per our recent agreement with the landlord, and have not made any final decisions in relation to Meridian House or 21 Holborn Viaduct,” said Hogan Lovells’ London managing partner Susan Bright. “While we are considering all our options, we do not anticipate making any further decisions on this matter for the next six to 12 months.”