Clifford Chance is weighing up plans to slash the size of its London offices, with a view to leaving its Canary Wharf headquarters and moving back into the City.
However, City A.M. understands the London law firm has not yet come to a decision on whether to leave its docklands HQ or get rid of two-thirds of its London office space – despite reports in The Telegraph.
On Sunday, The Telegraph reported that Clifford Chance is set to cut the size of its offices by two-thirds, as its partners have rejected Boris Johnson’s calls to return to the office.
The reports come after the London law firm hired property company Cushman & Wakefield to carry out a review of its office space requirements, in March of last year.
At the time, Clifford Chance’s UK managing partner Michael Bates said the firm had “learned a lot over the course of the pandemic” as he said “it is particularly important that we think seriously about the ‘where’ and ‘how’ of the future of our London space in the longer term.”
The Telegraph said Cushman & Wakefield’s review of Clifford Chance’s office space requirements had conclude the law firm should cut two-thirds of its office space, as this space will not be needed in the future.
However, City A.M. understands that Clifford Chance is still weighing up its options and that its office space review is ongoing.
The Magic Circle firm is also contesting claims that its partners are opposed to returning to the office. Last year, the firm said its staff will be able to spend up to 50 per cent of their time working remotely.
Clifford Chance currently occupies 10 floors at its Canary Wharf headquarters on 10 Upper Bank Street, which it shares its with firms including Deutsche Bank and French oil major Total. The firm’s current lease lasts until 2028.
Clifford Chance first moved to Canary Wharf in 2003 with a view to being closer to its major clients.