UK law firm Shoosmiths is celebrating its first anniversary of its new Solent office, and there is a feeling of growing momentum as the region experiences continued and improved growth including in its infrastructure.
Employees and guests from neighbouring Peach Technologies gathered together in the firm’s office at Forum 5 for its first anniversary, taking part in a visiting escape room experience with a mock corporate transaction theme – corporate being one of the key strengths for Shoosmiths in Solent.
The corporate team has completed a staggering seven deals within 12 weeks during 2019, and team head and partner, Stephen Porter won Lawyer of the Year while senior associate, Emma Livesey was recognised as Young Dealmaker of the Year at the Solent Deals Awards.
Head of office and partner, Paula Swain leads a national team handling the debt recovery for some of the UK’s largest corporates. The firm was recently chosen by the Chartered Institute of Credit Managers (CICM) – who set the standards in the credit management industry - as its new exclusive legal partner for 2019 to 2020.
Recognition as the property market’s best has been awarded to the real estate team as the Legal Team of the Yearat the prestigious Estate Gazette Awards, while the Solent conveyancing team have advised on property including a purchase for £1.7 million.
With a workforce of just over 100 in Solent, Shoosmiths has expanded with 25 employees joining the firm during the last year in roles ranging from trainee case handler to partner.
Shoosmiths first opened an office in Hampshire in 1994 just a short walk across the road on Whiteley’s Solent Business Park, located in woodlands between Southampton and Portsmouth.
Flooded with light from floor-to-ceiling windows, Shoosmiths’ Solent office is designed with colours from nature that reflect its view of lakes and landscaping. Staff can select from a range of stylish meeting rooms and pods including one named ‘Hygge HQ’ with appropriately cosy armchairs.
Paula Swain, who also sees her role as being ‘Chief Pride Officer’ believes that the Solent office move has reinforced the firm’s values of pulling together and taking initiative.
She said: “I commissioned the design for the central point of the office to have the feeling of a village square. This is a welcoming meeting place where teams and clients can work collaboratively, where even the tiles in the open-plan kitchen and the meeting room names include the word ‘Solent’ to reflect our local identity, plus it’s a place of celebration where we celebrate occasions such as a colleague getting married.”
“A new well-designed office environment has improved wellbeing for colleagues, increased business and helps us to attract new employees particularly when they see for themselves the attention to detail we have put into the office for collaborative, fully agile working, offering a strong career alternative to commuting to London on crowded trains.”