Rethinking the office: renew or relocate?

HFW, London

HFW is a global law firm providing sector-focused solutions for international commerce. In 2019, it sought M Moser’s advice on renewing its lease or relocating to a new site.

Over four years, our team guided the client through a workplace transformation.

Our role included developing a new workplace strategy, defining the requirement, then assisting with the building search and technical due diligence, before leading the interior design of the new office.

At a glance

  1. Developing a new workplace strategy to support the firm's transformation.
  2. Advising on key decisions through a range of project consulting services.
  3. Designing a sophisticated destination that increases cross-sector collaboration.

To stay or to go?

Through a series of workplace studies, we honed in on HFW’s vision for the future of legal work. Their ideal environment would reflect the partnership’s core values, promoting deeper cross-sector collaboration. Using these insights, we assessed the capacity of the current office to support their aspirations.

Our findings prompted the decision to relocate. Then, we helped HFW evaluate over fifty options before selecting the UK’s tallest BREEAM Outstanding and EPC A rated building, 8 Bishopsgate.

Employees highlighted the need for improved flexibility, abundant daylight and London views. The business needed to weigh location, client impression and employee impact for the best outcome. We prioritised buildings with excellent infrastructure, outdoor access and shared amenities, excluding any unsuitable options during tours.

Optimising space

By relocating to a multi-tenant facility, HFW benefits with a lower environmental footprint and access to shared amenities.

In addition, by shifting from a traditional set-up of dedicated offices to a more agile environment which better represents the future of legal workplace, the firm reduced its footprint from 79,000 sq ft to a more efficient 59,000 sq ft.

Our vision is centred on teamwork and collaboration, integral to our values. We’ve created a workplace through extensive consultation, promoting a unified environment that reflects this commitment.

Jeremy Shebson, Managing Partner, HFW

Encouraging collaboration

HFW recognises change in the legal industry. Its new workplace highlights the importance of connectivity between departments and an ability to cater to cross-sector clients. Our workplace design replaced fixed departmental areas with flexible neighbourhoods, creating more room for collaboration spaces and shared amenities.

We installed a central staircase spanning all three floors. This architectural feature not only serves as a unifying focal point but also enhances connectivity among employees, reducing travel time between various areas. Additionally, we strategically placed shared spaces, such as ‘The Lounge’ co-working lounge and ‘The Forum’ tiered presentation area, within easy reach for everyone.

Work settings for all

The work floors embrace a more open layout, eliminating the physical barriers that once hindered communication and collaboration. V-shaped desks offer generous surface space for individual or collaborative work. The desk arrangement allows for more fluid movement across the floorplate. Clear sightlines provide visual connectivity, reinforcing unity among teams. Additionally, adjacent quiet rooms support these work areas.

In contrast, the workplace includes dedicated spaces for focused work. For example, ‘The Study’ is designed to facilitate maximum concentration. Comprising 5% of total workstations, it offers a calm environment suitable for those with neurodiverse needs, allowing them to work quietly, but without the isolation of a small meeting room.

The client experience

The client suite is a hospitality-style area behind the reception, which doubles as a flexible event space for up to 140 people. Providing an environment for staff to recharge or entertain, the suite opens onto a large terrace with a panoramic view of London. In addition, the suite hosts the boardroom, specialist spaces for litigation and mediation and a range of meeting rooms to suit different needs.

We helped HFW with tenant-requested modifications to the building. The changes involved liaising with the landlord and securing planning permission to introduce additional terrace doors, enhancing accessibility to the outdoor area.

Does your workplace support your future of work ambitions? Whether you want to improve your current office or explore relocation options, contact us to discuss how we might guide you towards the best decision for your firm.

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Completion date





59,000 sq ft


Targeting BREEAM Outstanding


Chris Snook (+ video by Will Stone & Joe Donaldson)

Discuss your workplace