Allen & Overy


After eight years in occupation, Allen & Overy (A&O), one of the ‘magic circle’ law firms, decided to undertake a strategic review of their workplace at One Bishops Square. Moving into the next decade of tenure, Allen & Overy wanted to evolve their workplace strategy in response to new working practices. KKS was appointed to develop this strategy based upon our industry knowledge of emerging trends within the legal profession.

Over 12 months, KKS undertook a holistic review, leading an A&O partner steering committee through a series of work-streams covering all aspects of the workplace: behavioural psychology, demographic aspirations, technology advancements, agile working impacts, legal industry futurology as well as identifying existing stress points within the building through benchmark analysis, staff satisfaction surveys, case study site trips and key stakeholder business strategy interviews.

The review highlighted a need for greater variety and choice in work settings; current configuration challenges were causing a detrimental ‘hierarchy of space’ and opportunities to address issues by identify and re-purposing vacant space.

As a result of the initiative, a team of 30 fee earners volunteered to pilot studio open plan. Completed in March 2016, this pilot space addresses all the above issues and provides A&O with an alternative workplace approach to offer other teams facing re-stacking challenges.

Continued post-occupancy review will further enhance the offering and provide the A&O facilities team with business case data to support future expenditure. KKS continues on as A&O design advisor, as other teams adopt studio open plan.

The project was shortlisted in two awards: British Institute of Facility Management Awards 2016, Workplace Impact, The Lawyer Business Leadership Awards 2016, Most Innovative Workplace Initiative and won Managing Partners’ Forum 2017, Most Enviable Workplace.