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CSMM brings the “Desk Sharing Revolution” to the legal world

Munich – Frankfurt, 18 October 2022 – Is desk sharing the way forward for law firms? The model is currently being tested at Norton Rose Fulbright LLP (NRF) in its iconic 14-storey listed high-rise in Hamburg’s “Springer Quartier”. Architecture and consulting firm CSMM developed an innovative workplace design for the global firm that – for the first time – does away with personalised workstations. Every member of staff, whether partner or associate, is free to choose where they work on a day-to-day basis, with shared desks, personal caddies and other tools designed to facilitate collaboration as well as concentration.

In an effort to establish more flexible and transparent workflows at Norton Rose Fulbright’s new Hamburg premises, the 1200-square-metre workplace mixes single and double private offices with open-plan spaces in a smart way. Higher rates of working from home and a smaller office footprint mean staff’s demands are changing, and the firm wanted the workplace to add value for all. “We are very excited about the move to the new premises,” explains Patrick Narr, Head of the firm’s Hamburg office. “It will provide an environment that goes beyond the traditional office and aligns perfectly with our new workplace strategy. We wanted to create a ‘Destination Office’ that gives everyone on staff space to work and interact socially. Thanks to the dynamic and adaptable space, staff as well as clients have room to concentrate, collaborate and build their networks. This is all possible thanks to the state-of-the-art Springer Quartier.”

CSMM’s workplace design, unlike the former office, makes every workstation available to every member of staff, who can reserve the desk they want via the booking app. For Norton Rose Fulbright, the objective of the new desk sharing policy is to optimise utilisation of the office space. “To better manage internal workflows, personal assistants are the only staff who still have a personalised desk in the new open-plan space,” explains CSMM Managing Partner Malte Tschörtner. “Our design with the desk sharing concept allows every other co-worker more flexibility in how they organise their day-to-day work. The freedom to choose where you work is also a deliberate rejection of traditional, hierarchy-driven room typologies. Desk sharing gives lawyers the opportunity to find the right work environment for novel workflows and communication models, which we have also included in our design.” In addition to the desk sharing concept, CSMM came up with additional spaces for the entire staff, from a library for deep-concentration tasks to collaborative workshops designed to foster creativity, and from closed telephone boxes to an elegant communal space that serves as the firm’s “social hub”.

Keeping important documents safe

Staff can store personal items securely in their own mobile caddies, and these lockable, portable storage lockers are becoming increasingly important in the legal world. According to Fouad Brighache, the Team Leader at CSMM Frankfurt responsible for the design: “The more flexible law firms become, the more important it will be to give lawyers a place to lock away their important documents.” A warm pastel colour palette, hanging swings and plants give the contemporary interior design a playful touch, while marble, leather and wood provide sophisticated accents. “When we started developing ideas for our workplace design,” says Constanze Bandilla-Dany, partner at Norton Rose Fulbright, “we made a point of selecting high-quality materials. Our goal was to make quality a hallmark of our firm, but not only in terms of the service we provide our clients. Rather, quality is something everyone should experience within the office, during their day-to-day tasks and in every detail of the interior design.” This is an important message for clients and above all for younger members of staff. “Thanks to this elegant workplace design, CSMM has succeeded in improving the quality of life in the office and the sense of belonging within the team – a fresh, unique and very authentic take on the new world of work.”

About Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright is a global corporate law firm. With more than 3,500 lawyers working in 50 branch offices throughout Europe, the US, Canada, Central America, Asia, Australia, Africa and the Middle East, we advise leading national and multi-national enterprises.

We offer our clients comprehensive legal advice in all major industries, including financial services, energy, infrastructure, mining and commodities, transportation, technology and innovation as well as life sciences and healthcare. Our global Risk Advisory Group combines this broad-based industry experience with expertise in legal, regulatory, compliance and governance matters. This enables us to provide our clients with practical solutions to the legal and regulatory risks they face.

Wherever in the world we operate, “Quality, Unity and Integrity” are our guiding principles. Our legal advice is of the highest standard, and we maintain that level of service for each and every contact.

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Contact: Nicole Vesting
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CSMM Contact

CSMM – architecture matters
Contact: Nina Eisenbrand
Werk 3, Atelierstraße 14, 81671 München
Tel.: +49 (0)89 960 15 99-0
Fax: +49 (0)89 960 15 99-99

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