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Changing Face Of Legal Workplaces: London 2023

We are pleased to share with you the latest edition of DeVono’s annual report CHANGING FACE OF LEGAL WORKPLACES: LONDON 2023. This report includes insights into the office leasing activity of the legal sector in 2022 and H1 2023 and explores the changing expectations of the workplace.

The legal sector has not only been a key driver of office leasing across central London, but it has also been at the forefront of workplace change. However, workplace and workforce strategies continue to be challenged, with several disruptive headwinds ranging from normalising hybrid working patterns, investing and integrating new technology, and heightened competition influencing major real estate decisions, at times challenging the traditional concept of a law firm workplace.


  • 5 mega deals (100K+ SQ FT) transacted in 2022
  • 71% of leasing activity in 2022 was pre-letting new space
  • 88% of smaller deals (below 10K SQ FT) opt for secondhand space
  • Average lease length in 2022: 7.9 years
  • Location loyalty: 30 out of 28 firms stay put in the City
  • 20-year high in West End leasing by the legal sector with 66,849 sq ft
  • Midtown renaissance, leasing up 48% in 2022
  • Leasing activity in H1 2023 down 59% on the same period in 2022
  • Southbank leasing resurgence in H1 2023 with 37,275 sq ft transacted



  • Expectation of the number of in-office days averaging 3.1 days a week
  • 50% expect to obtain greater hybrid-working flexibility in 2024
  • 64% expect client meetings to be split between in-office and in-person in 2024
  • 91% believe building a strong relationship & trust is driving in-person meetings
  • 45% expect to see interaction with professional services & peers to return to face-to-face
  • For client interactions, in-person interaction has moved up from 9% in 2023 to 27% in 2024
  • 91% deem private offices ‘not at all important’
  • Board rooms are back in favour in 2023, 55% see their importance
  • Social kitchens, internal meeting rooms and quiet work areas rank high in importance
  • 73% of respondents expect their client suite provision to change


Shaun Dawson, Director, Head of Insights states, “The legal workplace is adapting and thriving as a new generation of workers, decision makers and clients are demanding more from the office. Aligning workplace, workforce and business strategies alongside the office is proving to be crucial, not only with the evolution of working patterns, but also with shifting perceptions around the sector.”

Dawson also explains: “Five key challenges; talent, cost, competition, workplace and culture are influencing current office decisions. The results from our Legal Workplace Survey show that the ‘new normal’ is far from having arrived, in fact workplace needs by legal firms remain in a transitory state, tackling these challenges will be even more taxing”.

To download the full report here.

If you would like any further information on this report, please do not hesitate to get in touch, or alternatively you can find out more at our website

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Changing Face Of Legal Workplaces: London 2023

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