30 Crown Place, our new home in London

A lot has changed since my last post.  My first seat is coming to an end and I’m about to leave the world of Employment behind to move on to Banking.  Although I’ll be sad to go as I’ve really enjoyed this seat, I’m looking forward to the challenge of joining a new team and taking on completely different work.  This will also be the first time that trainees in London haven’t had to contend with moving offices after a seat change, and on that note I’m delighted to introduce you all to Crown Place, our new firm headquarters.

As I mentioned in my very first blog, when I started my training contract in London we were spread out over three offices.  This was not ideal and so the firm had been working hard to secure an office in the City which could accommodate the entire London team and also offer scope for future expansion.  As you can imagine this was not the easiest of tasks but the building we have chosen is excellent.  We are a short walk away from Liverpool Street, in a brand new office block based over sixteen floors which is light, airy and fitted out to our specification.  The entire London team is now based here, which means that all future London trainees and vacation placement students can look forward to working together in this great building.

The move took place in two stages towards the end of February, as there were far too many of us to move at once.  I was amazed at how much stuff I’d accumulated when I started to pack – I’d only been with the firm a few months but already I had a shoe collection under my desk that would rival most department stores.  Moving a law firm is a logistical nightmare; we have so many files and books as well as all the usual office equipment.  However, it all ran fairly smoothly thanks to the hard work of our facilities team and the support staff who helped us to get organised and settle in.

Once we were unpacked it was time to explore our new surroundings.  I was pleased to discover that the facilities are first class.  Our client meeting rooms are on the top few floors and have amazing views over London, as far as Wembley on one side and the Olympic Park on the other.  We have a designated floor for in-house meetings and training, a collaboration floor where different departments can work together on a deal, a lovely library with lots of room to complete research and a restaurant and café which both serve really delicious food and snacks (the brownies are amazing).  There are also well equipped kitchens on every floor where we can help ourselves to various teas and coffee and a clever tap which produces still, sparkling and hot water.  I am still a bit in awe of this magical piece of technology!

The whole layout of the building is designed to encourage us to work together.  We all work in an open plan environment, which was initially a bit of a worry as most of us were used to working in small offices, sharing with a maximum of one other person.  Now we’re all settled in though it seems to be working really well.  We are positioned in ‘pods’ of four people, with privacy screens in between and it is really helpful to be able to communicate with each other without disturbing too many people.  We also have designated quiet rooms to escape to if we need to take a confidential telephone call or concentrate in silence.  There are break out areas on every floor to enable us to speak to one another away from the main office area and plenty of meeting rooms.

As I have been in an office with only Employment and Pensions for the last few months, I can’t believe how many people from the other departments I haven’t met.  Now I keep bumping into new people in the lifts, restaurant and on the office floor and feel much more like a part of the firm, which is great.  We also have a lot of visitors from the other offices who come to London for meetings, and it’s really nice to be able to meet some of those people too.

The best thing from a trainee perspective though is that we are now all together.  We are able to meet for lunch and after work drinks are much easier to organise.  We’ve tried out a few of the local bars and restaurants already but we still need to find our designated ‘local’.  If anyone knows the Liverpool Street area and has any suggestions then please let me know!

Laura