Herbert Smith Freehills is opening a business services office in Sydney—its second base in the Australian city.
The firm will relocate 230 employees to the new office in Macquarie Park, a northern suburb touted as a modern business hub, in the first half of 2018.
The new office will be the primary workplace for most of the firm’s Sydney-based business services staff, including chief operating officer Nicole Bamforth, and the Sydney alternative legal services team.
The firm will relinquish three floors at its current central business district office to the building’s owners to make the move, allowing the firm to reduce rental costs. The firm currently occupies 13 of ANZ Tower’s 43 floors.
“The per-meter-cost saving is materially significant,” said chief executive Mark Rigotti. “The business case in making this move is unquestionable.”
About 70 staff members in business services will remain at ANZ Tower after the move. There will be no layoffs as part of the process.
The firm said its new Sydney office will include an area where clients can work with practice groups; it will also include an innovation zone and spaces designed to encourage collaboration.
“This initiative supports our vision to be the leading firm in the region and globally, in how we innovate and adapt to a changing world and how we deliver services to our clients,” Rigotti said.
Macquarie Park, the area where the new office is opening, is Sydney’s second-largest business district and home to several global multinationals including The 3M Co., AstraZeneca Plc., Canon Inc. and Johnson & Johnson, according to an official website for the district.
Herbert Smith Freehills has launched a series of alternative legal services-focused centers in recent years, including one in Johannesburg this year. The South African offering, based out of the firm’s existing office in the city, was its eighth alternative legal services launch. The firm has other hubs in London, Belfast, Shanghai, Perth, Melbourne, and Brisbane, as well as in Sydney. In August 2016, Herbert Smith Freehills launched a 13-member alternative legal services center in Shanghai to offer Chinese language documents services.